At the end of 2019, 9 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 193 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $4,643 (Independent Sector). They also reported 296 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 625 individuals with various outreach projects.
Gardening at LCO Ojibwe Family Farm Day
The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College invited Master Gardener Volunteers and staff of Extension to participate in their Family Farm Day. We highlighted the importance of soil with hands-on activities and various examples of soil and a 3-D topographical map of Wisconsin. Over 200 pounds of squash and tomatoes were given away to families attending the event thanks to the Spooner Agriculture Research Station and the Seed to Kitchen organic vegetable research project. We also brought sage herbs ready to be planted. Sage is one of the four sacred Native American medicines. Sage is used to prepare people for ceremonies and teachings. It is also used for cleansing homes and sacred items. The sage planting was appreciated and of interest with both young and old in the Community with 50 people attending.
Educating through Website, Blogs and Social Media
MGVs educate others through online media with blogs and Facebook posts. This past year visits to our web pages have increased by 86% with 2,430 visits. A new feature included a subscription service that sends an email when a new post is available. Blog posts by Sawyer County MGVs gave growing tips and event announcements along with garden advice. In all over 5,000 web pages were viewed that provided access to information with a local twist. View the webpage at https://www.northcountrymgv.org/.
Focusing on Food
Area MGVs volunteer at the Hayward Community Food Shelf, maintain a garden display, and coordinate donations of more than 600 pounds of food from the Spooner Agricultural Research Station gardens. In addition, four MGVs supervised both the Open Vegetable & Flower departments at the Sawyer County Fair checking in entries, assisting judges, and answering questions.
Educating the Community About Gardening
MGVs provided garden education programming at the local libraries, schools, garden clubs, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, and the Spooner Agricultural Research Station. Subjects this year included seed starting, grasses and ground covers, vegetable basics, herbs, cover crops, container gardening, and using recycled plants and materials. In total over 100 people from Northwest Wisconsin attended either in person or via interactive media allowing those living in rural areas access to this programming.