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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gardening: Upcoming classes cover urban livestock, community gardens, pruning and grafting

Jan. 11, 2017 Updated Wed., Jan. 11, 2017 at 4:16 p.m.

A Buff Orpington chicken watches the action during the first annual Urban Coup Tour in July2007 in Spokane, Wash. (Jed Conklin / The Spokesman-Review)
A Buff Orpington chicken watches the action during the first annual Urban Coup Tour in July2007 in Spokane, Wash. (Jed Conklin / The Spokesman-Review)

It’s winter and we aren’t going to see our gardens any time soon so here are some educational opportunities to take advantage of in the near future. To register for these classes, go to the WSU Spokane County Extension’s website at and scroll down the upcoming events calendar. The classes will be taught at Spokane Community College.

Urban animal keeping: In May 2014, the Spokane City Council passed an urban small livestock keeping ordinance that allows residents to keep goats, sheep and pigs on urban lots. To do so however, you must take a certification classthrough the WSU Extension Office.

On Feb. 7, there will be a class for people interested in keeping goats, followed by a pig keeping class on Feb. 14 and a sheep class on Feb. 21. Each certification class is animal specific and will cover the rules and regulations for keeping the animals and the basics of selecting, providing shelter, feeding, fencing and caring for animals. For those who want more information on goats there will be a series of advanced goat keeping classes starting on March 2.

Each certification class is $20 per family at the same address, the advanced class is $50.

Starting a community garden: There is a growing interest in building community gardens around the region. However, starting a successful one takes building a community and some planning.

With a grant from the National Association of Conservation Districts and in cooperation with the Spokane Conservation District, WSU Extension will be offering a How to Start a Community Garden class on Feb. 28. The class will cover how to gather a community group who will then design, build and manage the garden. The class will feature a roundtable discussion with several area community garden managers on their experiences building and running their gardens. Cost is $10 a person.

Fruit tree grafting and pruning: Along with the popularity of community gardens, more and more people are planting fruit trees in their yards or are restoring old ones that have been there for decades.

On March 31 and April 1, WSU Extension will be bringing in Gary Moulton to teach two hands-on classes on fruit tree grafting, pruning and maintenance. Moulton is widely respected in the state for his decades of work with fruit trees in Western Washington. Each participant will take home three grafted trees and the pruning work will be done in a local orchard. Cost is $100 per person and there will be arborist continuing education credits available.

Pat Munts is co-author, with Susan Mulvihill, of the “Northwest Gardener’s Handbook.” Munts can be reached at

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