Across the country community gardens are sprouting up like seeds on a warm summer day! Not only are folks wanting fresh fruits and vegetables to feed their families, they also want to grow them organically. With this surge of home vegetable gardening, schools are also planning gardens to teach our young people how to grow vegetables and plants without the use of chemicals. Master Gardeners have been involved with school gardens in Tuolumne County for several years and with our Demonstration Garden we promote the organic style of vegetable and fruit production.
On the first Saturday of each month, Master Gardeners hold demonstrations on various gardening subjects and practices. Not only are the organic vegetable and fruit production topics popular, there is also a great deal of interest on water conservation, native plants for the garden as well as water conserving grasses to replace turf lawns. The community attendees to the demonstrations are almost always adults. Very few children attend with their parents. Yet, we have found that children are getting more and more interested in gardening, especially when they can actually “eat” the fruits of their labor. From preschool age children to teen, the act of planting a seed and watching it sprout and grow to become something edible seems like a miracle. Sadly, some children never have the opportunity to enjoy this process.
As Master Gardeners we feel it is never too early to start kids playing in the dirt! Imagine, we tell the kids it’s OK to get dirty!! And we have found that they love it…just like we do! But the purpose of playing in the dirt is to grow something wonderful to eat or beautiful to look at.
To do just that, on Saturday, June 6th, Master Gardeners will host the first annual ‘Kids Day in the Garden’ from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This Open Garden Day will be devoted to showing the children of our community how to grow vegetables, fruits and plants and inviting them to take part in fun learning activities.
Children have always been welcome in the garden, but June 6th will be specifically devoted to them. For older children, a plant scavenger hunt will have them locating native plants, fruits, vegetables, ornamental flowers and beneficial critters in the garden. Every child in attendance will get to plant seeds to take home and grow, learn to use garden trimmings for a decorative wreath, find out why worms are so important to a garden, plant a mini rock garden and arrange cut flowers.
Special treats will include face painting, gummy worm cupcakes and a free sunflower plant. Both kids and adults are invited to try for distance in the cricket spitting contest. Master Gardeners will be throughout the garden answering questions and providing information about the different areas of the demonstration garden. On this special Saturday we hope to encourage the children of our community to have an interest in gardening, not only to put food on the table, but also to have a beautiful water-wise garden.
Of course parents and grandparents are also invited to attend and Master Gardeners will be happy to help them with any gardening problems or questions they may have.
Mark your calendars….Saturday, June 6th, 10:00am to 1:00pm…Master Gardener Demonstration Garden for ‘Kids Day in the Garden.’. The garden is located on the Cassina High School Campus at 251 S. Barretta Street in Sonora.
Master Gardener Carolee James will be in the garden discussing Native Plants and Buffalo Grasses with the kids.