Educating youth about gardening, science, and healthy eating
University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers and the University Department of Sports and Recreation / Youth Programs are collaborating for the third year to teach 9-13 year olds about the science - and fun - of gardening!
And what better place to teach about horticulture than in an actual garden? Master Gardeners have designed ten weeks of activities based on the national Junior Master Gardener curriculum with the three-acre Horticulture Teaching Garden as the outdoor classroom. Throughout the summer, class topics rotate around topics like basic gardening, healthy eating, soil, water conservation, composting, botany, insects and birds, and caring for the environment. Young Gopher Adventurers will be busy planting, learning about soil, identifying pests, reading and recording air temperature, rainfall, and even compost temperature!
Classes meet Tuesdays, 10am - noon, June 12 - August 21.
Today's Gopher Adventurers "dug in" - literally. After an orientation in the outdoor classroom, they took readings of air temperature, measured the rain in the gauge, and discussed observations. The Master Gardeners handed out a bookmark they created that included resources and helpful acronym - P.L.A.N.T.S. - to help students remember what plants need to grow.
Once in the garden, students got the lay of the land from Master Gardeners, and then settled down to business planting Kennebec potatoes, yellow onion sets and nasturtium seeds. They watered in the plants, learned how to operate the compost tumbler (click here P1180177.MOV), and then planted and carefully labeled Blue Lake bush beans to take home.