Sunday, May 31, 2015

Growing Young Gardeners Club: Instilling a life long passion for gardening.

Growing Young Gardeners

“The first step a seed takes to becoming a plant is when its coat or skin splits open and a tiny root pushes out of the bottom into the soil.” ~ Stephaney Eberhard.

The first step a child takes to becoming a gardener may well be - her first hands on, or should I say, hands in the dirt, experience.

Getting your hands dirty is a fun part of gardening.

Growing Young Gardeners Club, a Master Gardeners Program in South Burlington, VT aims to offer that experience while at the same time providing knowledge of planting and growing seeds, the ABC’s of soil and composting, garden critters & bugs, invasive and weeds and garden to table – the taste of your labor and love. A sense of community is an integral root of this crop, as children themselves bring (what they don’t sample themselves), to the Food Shelf.

Planting and growing vegetables need not be hard work. The science of gardening imparted by Certified UVM extension Master Gardeners like Bonnie Machia, and Janette Hasenecz, may instill not only a lifelong passion for gardening, but also a skill beneficial to the whole community.

Bonnie Machia who created and runs the Machia Wilderness Camp (which introduces youth to the outdoor experience) and Janette, Jan, and Lari of the BTV Garden Club have joined together to offer the Growing Young Gardeners Club summer series to children in grades four through nine. There is still room in the club which runs for ten weeks, every Thursday 10AM-Noon, June 18-August 20 (following two start up sessions in May) at Wheeler Park , 1100 Dorset Street in South Burlington. What a wonderful extension of South Burlington’s outdoor offerings, which also dovetails nicely to the SB Common Roots program.

Stay tuned as we chronicle, through photos and storytelling, the Young Gardeners Club member’s journey through black earthy loam, as they amend the soil with rich compost; decipher the proper depth of the hole from which the seeds they plant will grow, and as the new gardeners themselves, grow over the course of the summer.  

Well Pooh Bear, we do have to be patient
and give the seeds time to grow.
Perhaps the children will share their learning and experiences. As the seeds are planted into the rich soil, along with water and light for food, the plants will sprout roots, which will help the plants take in extra nutrients from the earth. At the same time, the young gardeners will take in the knowledge of growing plants, which will help their thumbs grow green. How will these new gardeners describe the first stem of leaves that push through the soil, and the leaves uncurl. Will the new gardeners struggle with thinning out their new plant friends? Is weeding a chore or a fun and instantly rewarding exercise? What words will our gardeners choose to describe their first taste of a small, thin, young early carrot?

Come play in our South Burlington community dirt with us, either virtually or watch the young gardeners live at Wheeler Park as they learn to grow, taste the raw rewards, and they themselves personally deliver in the truest sense of community to those in need.

The first step a child takes to becoming a lifelong gardener may well be when he traces a small furrow in the earth with his finger, and carefully places seeds within, covering them, pushing his new knowledge into the soil along with the seeds.  

To enroll or for more information about the Growing Young Gardeners Club, contact Bonnie Machia via email at marilynmachia@comcast(dot)net. 

Bernie publishes short stories and photos reflecting Vermont values of Green and Clean and Community. 

We are South Burlington, VT. A Different Place, Altogether. 

#caring, #community, #contribution 

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