Garden is set up for success

Published 9:50 am Saturday, May 29, 2010

This coming summer is an exciting one for Freeborn County 4-H. We have the opportunity to share our knowledge about gardening and enthusiasm about team building and leadership with the new Halverson garden participants.

We are fortunate enough to be working with the YMCA, The Children’s Center, Halverson Elementary kids, and The Rock. In addition to the Halverson garden site, 4-H and Extension will be doing the same type of programming with the newly formed Emmons group. Extension will work with the kids doing education and team building for one hour a week and the following hour the kids will have the opportunity to work with AmeriCorps volunteers and Master Gardeners. During this hour, kids will do the physical gardening of weeding, plant care, watering, etc. Our hope is to build the enthusiasm about gardening while teaching the kids about their plants and talking about how they can create a garden at home, how much money they can save and how much more nutrition they will get out of fresh vegetables vs. canned vegetables.

The garden idea has been spearheaded by Ellen Kehr, Freeborn County SHIP coordinator, Terri Martin, a 4-H volunteer/AmeriCorps volunteer, and Amy Wadding, Freeborn County 4-H program coordinator. In addition to these individuals, countless hours of support have been given by the city of Albert Lea, the Albert Lea School District, the Halverson PTO, the University of Minnesota Extension Office staff, and others I am sure I am forgetting.

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We have strived to make the garden a permanent event for all the kids involved. Additional schools that have sparked interest in having gardens in the future. And as you see, the garden idea is sparking in communities outside of Albert Lea. WOW! The garden started as an idea and look what it has already blossomed into.

The garden is located on the southwest side of the Halverson School. If you have any questions, please give the Extension Office a call at 377-5660 and we would be more than happy to help you out.

Amy Wadding is a 4-H program coordinator in Freeborn County.