At the end of 2019, 4 Master Gardener Volunteers reported 231 hours of volunteer service for an estimated value of $5,538 (Independent Sector). They also reported 50 hours of continuing education and reached an estimated 218 individuals with various outreach projects.
Plant-A-Plant Container Gardening Project
Lafayette County 4-H and the Lafayette County Master Gardener Volunteers joined together to provide a workshop for 4-H members enrolled in flowers. Each child was contacted prior to the workshop by 4-H staff and asked to bring a container to use as a planter for the purposes of competing at the Lafayette County Fair. The rules for the 4-H fair entries was provided by the 4-H staff. Planting medium was provided by Nature’s Gift Greenhouse. Each child selected/purchased plants from the greenhouse.
The Master Gardener Volunteers created a one-page handout for Container Gardening and gave it to all the participants. The volunteers did hands-on education to the participants with the goal of creating a container garden to be entered in the fair under the Plant-A-Plant category.
There were 10 participants from 4-H clubs from around Lafayette County. Ages ranged from 3 to 14 years.
MGV members observed many of the projects that were entered for competition received blue and red ribbons.
Lafayette County Master Gardeners/Argyle Schools
We started our program on February 13, 2019, by having a meeting with Heidi Ganshert, Science Teacher at Argyle High School. Our plan is to start a horticulture program at the school’s greenhouse. We envision students being able to get some credit for community service by growing vegetables for the school and the local food pantry.
We started with seed planting for plants on February 25th. The freshman earth science classes were the students that worked on this project. (Approximately 28 students).
Master Gardener Volunteers worked with the students on February 25, March 18, April 1, April 17, April 30, and May 8th. The students planted 65 flats of plants. They planted tomatoes, peppers, zinnia, marigolds, daisies, dill, lupine, basil, chives and some other varieties of flowers. The students worked with the plants as part of their class each day. The Master Gardener Volunteers helped teach the students about the importance of reading how deep to plant seeds, how much to water, and transplanting their plants.
The students held an online plant sale promoted on the school’s Facebook site. They sold out of everything by the end of school in May. They made approximately $250. The proceeds are going to be used to purchase supplies to keep the project going in the fall.
We built 2 raised garden beds. They have been placed beside the greenhouse at the school. Dirt (donated) was being installed the week of August 19, 2019, so the students can plant cool crops when school resumes on September 3, 2019. Whatever was grown this fall will be donated to the school and the local food pantry.
The school has approved starting horticulture classes but has been having some trouble fitting the class into the schedule. In the meantime Mrs. Ganshert will continue to work with her students and the Master Gardener volunteers to promote horticulture and provide the students opportunities to work with plants.
Lafayette County Fair Booth
This year our booth highlighted container gardening. We all made containers to demonstrate the many combinations of plants that can be used. A handout was made on Container Gardening and we also had our LCMGA brochure available.
Sixteen contacts were made with 10 container garden handouts given and discussed. Seven LCMGA brochures were given out and discussed. We did have three people sign up to be contacted in the fall for our informational meeting to learn more about becoming a LCMGV.
Our volunteers manned the booth on Friday and Saturday of the fair.
This year LCMGV sponsored 2 junior 4-H awards. This award was a medal given to the best junior and senior exhibit under flowers and plants at the fair.