The Master Gardener Program in Outagamie County started in 1999. Over 513 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 114 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2017. The UW-Extension Educator facilitating the MG Program is Crops, Soils and Horticulture Agent Kevin Jarek.
Volunteer Service in 2016
|Youth Education||434 hours|
|Adult Education||779 hours|
Since 2000: 124,677 hours at a value of over $2,359,818
* using the current estimated dollar value of volunteer time in Wisconsin of $22.48 per hour, from Independent Sector. Cumulative value based on previous annual estimates.
Where you can find activities by MGVs
- Appleton Memorial Park Gardens
- Timber Rattlers Community Garden
- HearthStone Historical House
- Habitat for Humanity/Rock the Block
- Marigold Mile
- UW-Extension Learning Garden
- Appleton and Kaukauna Farmers Market
- Fox Cities Book Festival
Participating in UW Research
A community garden plot was donated by Goodwill Grows to conduct the UW Vegetable Crop Trial. Diﬀerent varieties of onions and peppers were sown indoors in March and then transplanted in early June whereas beets were directly sown into the garden site. Data, including taste tests, were collected on each variety. This information will be analyzed by UW Horticulture Professor Julie Dawson and final results shared with chefs, plant breeders and farmers around the state.
Seed Lending Library Shares Heirloom Seeds
In April 2016, the Community Seed Lending Library opened at the Appleton Public Library. This local program allows gardeners access to heirloom seeds to grow food, learn to save seeds, and strengthen our local seed diversity. The library provides the opportunity for people to trade and save seeds, while MGVs provide education, inspiration, and growing seed stock. Other eﬀorts to expand seed access and food security included helping organize a seed swap and partnering with St. Joe’s Grow A Row program.
Children Learn About Gardening
The Teaching Garden at Columbus School in Appleton. is a place where students can grow a themed garden, harvest, and use vegetables. Classroom lessons were conducted with an AmeriCorps Farm to School Program Nutrition educator teaching plant parts, plant identification, plant care, etc. The children read the book Strega Nona’s Harvest and planted a garden like in the book. The seeds were mixed and scattered without rows, just as they were in the story.