As the days get longer, thoughts are turning to spring and the VINES program (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments) is getting set with its Green Thumb Workshop Series.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News- Christopher Guy from VINES

Christopher Guy, Community Food Access Coordinator through Americorps is the guest on this week's local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up to talk about the workshops and the VINES program.

Guy says the program is expanding its contributions to supporting community environments while offering opportunities to learn skills like urban farming, organization and responsibilities.

The Binghamton native says VINES helps residents learn about growing and using healthy foods through the current 14 urban farms with sights set on 20 farms in the region by 2020.

Workshops begin March 12 with Gardening 201 for more advanced green-thumbs followed by Gardening 101 for beginners on March 14th.

Several other workshops are scheduled for the spring ranging from the skills associated with growing produce in small spaces, maintaining a healthy environment through composting to a Farm Share program for learning about picking up fresh local produce and recipes for an affordable cost.

Guy says all the workshops are free and are being held at locations throughout the area but residents can contact VINES for help in setting up their own neighborhood garden programs.

For more information about VINES go to www.vinesgardens.org or call (607) 205-8108.

Southern Tier Close Up can be heard Saturdays at  6 am on 98.1 The Hawk.