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Keep Coppell Beautiful Environmental Education is offering a Fall into Winter Gardening class on Saturday, July 25, from 11:00am- 12:30pm at the Biodiversity Education Center.  The center is located in Wagon Wheel Park next to Coppell Nature Park (367 Freeport Parkway, Coppell TX 75019).

Fall and winter make for a harsh outdoor environment, but that doesn’t mean gardening has to come to a stop.  Healthy soil is essential to plant vitality and these slow seasons present a great opportunity to invigorate beds before the upcoming spring. Fall may be the best time of the year to plant in order to get the best results and an ideal time to evaluate a garden’s design. Reviewing what worked and did not work will allow for accurate removal or relocation of certain plants. Taking these steps to winterize will make for a better looking garden during cold weather months and improve outcomes for the approaching spring.

Soil maintenance and design adjustments aren’t the only options for winter gardeners. Many plants and vegetables struggle in the cold, however, there are quite a few vegetables that thrive in the chilly weather. Cole crops have an affinity for cold weather and will allow a harvest in much of the winter. With proper plants and cultivation, any garden has the capacity for year round yields.

Brad Sandy, of the Dallas County Master Gardeners, will cover numerous cold season gardening topics with professional tips and tricks to keep plots from becoming rectangles of bare earth. With over 10 years of gardening leadership and regularly lecturing at the Dallas Arboretum, Mr. Sandy has become a regional authority on educating the public over soil preparation. You’ll also find out how to grow in the cold weather and when to begin planting for the best spring harvest. Brad will cover proper planting times, soil cultivation, winter friendly veggies and a touch of design for the bitter seasons.

Learn to garden all year long by thinking ahead and properly planning from this class. 

Free to the public.

For more information about other class offerings visit our website at www.coppellcommunitygarden.org.

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Tickets to the Fifth Annual Farm to Table Dinner go on sale this Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. at the Coppell Farmers Market. Look for the special area setup for ticket sales. Tickets are $100 each and can only be purchased with cash or check. There is a 4 ticket maximum per person. Make sure to arrive early, as tickets sold out in just 2 hours last year.

This unique Coppell experience is known for “honoring the face and taste of local food.” The highly anticipated event is set for Sunday, May 31st from 6-9pm in Old Town Coppell on the lawn behind the Coppell Senior and Community Center.

Believing that all local citizens should have access to locally produced, healthy food, the market committee designated at the dinner’s inception that proceeds support the acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Lone Star food stamp cards) at the market and marketing expenses.

Four chefs familiar to the Coppell Farmers Market are working together for this lovely evening. Vendor “Two Chefs” Robby and Victoria Hooker, who sell their fresh chips and salsa weekly, brought the concept to the market. Robby is now Head Chef for Lewisville ISD and Victoria is the Head Chef at SMU.  This year they are assisted by Chef Joe Baker, who has his own catering business and is known to market customers for his macarons and truffles, and Chef Hugh Stewart of Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill, who offered last Saturday’s chef demonstration.

Presenting this dinner for the fifth year hasn’t slowed these chefs down. Their enthusiasm hasn’t waned as they voluntarily added a seventh course this year.  Chefs and students from two local culinary schools, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Dallas, will assist with preparation and serving this elegant, locally sourced dinner.  The multi-course seated meal with wine and ale pairings will be beautifully served outdoors accompanied by live music.

In continuing with the first part of the dinner’s mission to “honor the face of local food”, producers who contribute to the dinner sit among the attendees and are introduced during the evening. Meet the market vendors in a more relaxed venue and dine with neighbors in a unique setting.

The Coppell Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon at 768 W. Main Street in Old Town Coppell.  Lone Star Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and bank ATM cards can be used to purchase wooden market tokens (market cash) at the CFM info booth in the center of the pavilion. For the most current market news and events, join the Coppell Farmers Market on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to a weekly email update at http://.coppellfarmersmarket.org.

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The Coppell Farmers Market is hosting their fifth annual Farm to Table Dinner on May 31, 2015. The focus is to celebrate urban and rural relationships in a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. The event at Grapevine Springs Park, 345 W. Bethel Road in Coppell, will begin at 6:00pm with mingling and appetizers followed by a 7:00pm outdoor dinner prepared by chefs and students from The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Dallas and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.  Six-courses served on long tables will be paired with locally crafted wine or ale and will spotlight the farmers and producers.  Light jazz by Coppell pianist, Roland Elbert, will complete the experience.  

The goal of the Coppell Farmers Market Farm to Table Dinner is to celebrate all who contribute to a local food system, to spotlight farmers and producers, raise awareness of the value of meals based on farm direct markets, and support local food access to all.  Ticket sale proceeds will support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Lone Star Card) at the market, along with additional promotion of the Coppell Farmers Market.

The CFM volunteer committee has planned this dinner every year with Robby and Victoria Hooker, Two Chefs salsa vendor and professional chefs.  The Hookers assisted with similar dinners in North Carolina with Slow Food before moving to the area and are excited to bring their expertise to this endeavor and involve culinary students in the local food movement.  “It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since we started our dinners and they’ve become a true community celebration of local food,” said Karen Pearsall Gillham, the CFM Committee Chair, “and this year, the chefs and farmers are already planning some extraordinary culinary delights!”

Tickets for the May 31st Farm to Table Dinner go on sale at 8:00am on April 18th at the Coppell Farmers Market, 768 W. Main St.  $100, cash or check only, four ticket limit.  Tickets sold out in two hours last year!

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Keep Coppell Beautiful Environmental Education is offering a Secrets of Tomato Gardening class on Saturday, March 14 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm at the Biodiversity Education Center, 367 Freeport Parkway at Wagon Wheel Park.  

Tomatoes are a favorite in North Texas vegetable gardens.  There is nothing like a vine-ripened tomato.  Many gardeners find growing tomatoes in the Texas climate especially challenging. Attend this class to tried and true methods of growing juicy, delicious tomatoes perfect for spring salads from expert Texas gardeners. 

Farm Girl Donelle Simmons will let us in on all of the secrets to growing organic and disease-free tomatoes in our environment.  Donelle will bring her passions about gardening and real food into the classroom.  Donelle, along with her mother Marilyn, grow and feed 15 families a year through their educational Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), offer an organic gardening radio show, speak at national conferences, and garden coaching advice to help others grow bountiful gardens.

There is no charge for this class and registration is not required. There is a 300 meter walk from the parking lot to the Biodiversity Education Center.  Use the Wagon Wheel Park entrance off of Freeport Parkway and follow the signs to the Biodiversity Education Center.

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Getting started in the garden can seem like an overwhelming process.  Dr. Peter Lecca will break down the process at Getting Started in the Garden on January 10, 2015, 11:00am-12:30pm at the Biodiversity Education Center.  There are many decisions to be made, but a little planning can go a long way toward making a garden you will love.  The trick is to envison how you plan to use the space, and to start small by choosing one place in your yard to begin.  Developing a garden is an ongoing process and can change with new ideas.  

There are many physical and mental health benefits of gardening.  Nature has long been known for its calming qualities and as a place to find tranquility and healing.  Gardening is considered moderate to heavy intensity physical activity, and has been linked to significant beneficial changes in total cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as reduces the risk for obesity, stroke, and depression.

Dr. Lecca will teach you how to choose a place, clear the ground, improve the soil, and choose the correct plants.  You will also learn how to read a seed packet, when to plant, and how to troubleshoot.  Bring all of your questions to this fun, informal class.  Dr. Lecca's garden has been featured in the Dallas Morning News and has been chosen to be showcased several times on the Texas SmartScape Tour of Coppell.  His garden boats both perennial and vegetable gardens, as well as Texas native and adaptive plants.  

With so many benefits to gardening, there is no reason not to get started growing your own vibrant garden!  There is not charge for this class and registration is not required.  

There is a 300 meter walk from the parking lot to the Biodiversity Education Center at Wagon Wheel Park, 367 Freeport Parkway, Coppell, Tx, 75019.  Use the Wagon Wheel Park entrance off of Freeport Parkway and follow the signs to the Biodiversity Education Center.  For more information about this class, or future program offerings, visit coppellcommunitygarden.org.

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