At the end of 2019, 64 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 4,169 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $100,044 (Independent Sector). They also reported 1,760 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 5,933 individuals with various outreach projects.
Getting Kids to Garden
The Kids’ Corner at our annual plant sale proved to be very popular this year. More than 50 children plant their own flower and choose a glitter ornament to decorate their flowerpots. They get a short lesson about soil and watering needs of their plant.
Meanwhile, over 4,300 plants found new homes with 600 customers. Pictures of the mature plant and its growing requirements were available. Dozens of customers came to our reference table for additional assistance.
More than 65% of our Master Gardener Volunteers helped with this year’s plant sale. Funds raised will support a scholarship, grants and our eight education programs, which are available to MGVs and the public.
Inspiring the Community on Annual Garden Walk
Five private gardens were included on this year’s walking tour. At each garden site MGVs greeted visitors and provided information about the gardens. Education boards were prominently displayed on an easel at each garden, highlighting its unique features. While all the gardens included beautiful perennials and annuals, some were specifically designed to attract birds and butterflies. Other special garden inspirations included gardens decorated with vintage garden tools and furniture and decorative items the hosting gardener paints a different color each year. A quarter acre edible garden featured raised beds with many berries and a variety of vegetables — all fenced to discourage hungry deer. Guests were also treated to a greenhouse with a hydroponic growing system. Over 300 visitors enjoyed touring this year’s gardens.
Kids Proud of Their Dirty Hands
MGVs worked with county 4H groups to teach children ages 7-10 about gardening. The first lesson prepared the garden for seeds by having each child dig up the soil, add compost, and level with their hands (all the trowels had been left behind). They next planted seeds and potted plants. Other lessons included what to compost, plant parts, plant care, weeds and insects found in the garden. Everyone was suited up with a lab coat, goggles, and butterfly net to look for insects. Each child made a fairy garden in a pot. The 4-H class was small; with only 9 students, but over the summer about 150 summer school students came to see what was going on in the garden.