At the end of 2019, 43 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 2,715 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $65,169 (Independent Sector). They also reported 460 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 6,511 individuals with various outreach projects.
Teaching Kids the Importance of Plants and Gardening
Master Gardeners provided a children’s program resulting in eighty-five (85) kids attending. Topics covered: Planting our Garden and Construction of a Bug Condo; Composting We Go and Magical Hummingbirds; Yoga in the Garden; Marvelous Monarchs and Pollinators; and Apples, Apples, Apples and Painting Friendship Rocks. Each session consisted of a story walk, a hands-on presentation, a nutritious snack, an activity related to the subject of the day, planting and weeding their raised bed gardens, a square foot garden and salad garden, and refilling the hummingbird feeders.
Training New Volunteers
Master Gardeners hosted a training program consisting of 36 hours of training, resulting in 14 students attending. Each week a different horticultural subject was presented by Master Gardener Volunteers and other subject matter experts. Class time included hands-on activities and opportunities for further inquiries and knowledge. This training shows a commitment on the part of the North Country Master Gardeners to provide students with in-depth horticultural knowledge.
Teaching Kids at Spooner School Gardens
Master gardeners planted tended and harvested two school gardens, resulting in 120 students attending. The children learned about gardening, and healthy eating from seed to fork. The produce was turned over to the cafeteria workers to make a harvest soup and the overabundance of carrots and potatoes was donated to the food pantry so members in our community with food insecurities could have fresh produce.
Contributing to the Teaching and Display Garden at Spooner Agricultural Research Station
Master Gardener Volunteers contribute significantly to the Spooner Agriculture Research Station’s Teaching and Display Garden. During the growing season the garden hosts many training events and welcomes visitors from schools, garden clubs, community organizations, and residents of the area. Featured in the garden are organic vegetables, All America Selections flowers and vegetables, and a perennial pollinator display garden. The garden has won national awards from the All-America Selections Landscape Garden Design Contest. The educational opportunity is welcomed by area residents and is especially effective when the techniques can be demonstrated in a garden setting. Donated produce is also used as ‘teachable moments” for nutrition education with local schools, food shelves and senior centers.