By Nancy F. Traub
Spring has finally arrived and daffodils are blooming. It’s time to start mowing the lawn and planting a garden. Why not include your children or grandchildren in the fun? You can grow vegetables, and your family can save money, while you enjoy eating fresh, healthy produce. In addition, you can plant a few annuals or perennials and appreciate the beautiful flowers.
It may be easier and faster for adults to garden without involving the children. But, it can be even more satisfying to include the youngsters. You will be teaching them activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and activities that can be done together as a family. Gardening is a hobby that can last a lifetime. If you live in an apartment or condominium you can garden in containers. Alternatively, if you are short of space for a garden, or would like to meet fellow growers, you can join one of the local community gardens. If you are a novice, the community garden experience can help by giving you access to the expertise of knowledgeable growers.
Here are three hands-on gardening workshops being held this spring in Delaware County exclusively for youngsters. These programs deserve your attention.
1. Delaware Community Garden Kids’ Club - If your children are ages 5 and older and would like to join others in a group project that is enjoyable and also helps those in need, the Delaware County Community Market has a community garden just for kids. This is an ongoing project that started on April 17th and continues throughout the growing season. You are not committed to attend every session, but you are invited to come as often as you can. The Kids’ Club meetings start at 4pm and last for an hour on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. The Delaware County Master Gardeners are leading these sessions. There will be hands-on activities as they learn how to prepare soil, plant seeds, care for the plants, and then harvest the produce. In addition, they will be doing garden crafts. In 2013, the Delaware County Community Market garden donated several hundred pounds of produce to local food banks. You can stop in at the Delaware Community Market at 222 East William Street in Delaware to get an application for club membership. The cost of each workshop is only 25¢ per child. There also is a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/delawarekidsclubgarden that you can access to keep tabs on the club’s activities.
2. Youth Gardening Clinic - If your family is thinking of planting a garden, the Ohio State University Extension is conducting a Youth Gardening Clinic on Saturday, May 3 from 10-12. This clinic is geared towards youth ages 8 to 18; younger siblings are welcome if accompanied by a parent. There will be advice on pest management and plant propagation. Youth will also be shown ways to recycle in the garden. There will be advice on 4-H flower and vegetable projects, as well as hands-on gardening activities. This event is being held at Leeds Farm in Ostrander, 8738 St. Rt. 36. You can register for the workshop by contacting Mrs. Amy Barr at (740) 833-2039 or emailing her at email@example.com.
3. Roses for Youth Workshop - If your children love flowers, the Delaware Area Rose Society (DARS) is offering a free hands-on workshop on Saturday, May 10 at Miller’s Country Gardens in Delaware. There will be two sessions; 10-11am and 1-2pm. Participants with be taught how to plant and care for miniature roses. They will learn proper watering, fertilizing, pruning, dead heading and winterizing techniques. In addition, the children will choose a beautiful miniature rose bush that they will plant and take home. The workshop is open to all youth, but space is limited. For more information and to register contact either Dave Jackson at (740) 369-8262 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Miller at (740) 816-6724 or email@example.com.
Nancy F. Traub is a Delaware County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.