Help Hope Grow, a fundraiser for the new Hope Community Garden will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Seafood Consumer Center banquet room. The event will feature gourmet food by local chefs, a no-host bar with local wines, silent auction and raffle and a short film on community gardening.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the door, and will be available at the Oregon State University Extension Service office, 2001 Marine Drive, Room 210.

Hope Garden is the first project of the Astoria Community Garden Association, sponsors of the event. The purpose of the garden is to provide a space for people to be able to grow their own food. It will also provide the local food bank with fresh produce. A scholarship fund for people who can't afford to rent a space in the Hope Garden is also being started.

The garden still needs donations of healthy soil, two 100 foot long hoses, watering wands, a waterproof bulletin board, picnic table, fencing, gates, seeds, plants, a sign and tools such as hand trowels and a wheelbarrow. Those who are interested can also support the garden by donating wine, food, or items for the raffle or silent auction.

To donate any of these items, call the Astoria Community Garden Association at 338-1273. Donations of cash can also be made at Sterling Bank in Astoria.

The location of the garden is at the First Lutheran Church, 33rd Street and Grand Avenue. The church donated use of the space and water for the garden.

The design team of Master Gardeners and other volunteers staked out the site using a design created by Alex Bobroff, president of the Clatsop County Master Gardener Association. The garden includes 12 beds which are 15 to 16 feet long and 4 feet wide. Jim Allen will roto-till the spaces, and amend them with compost from his farm in Knappa. The pathways are wheelchair accessible.

The garden spaces will rent for $35 to $40 a year plus a $10 deposit. To sign up for a space at the Hope Garden, or learn more about the Garden Association, call the OSU Extension Service at 325-8573, or go to www.AstoriaCommunityGardens.org

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