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  • A Glimpse of EMGs working with children

    Garden Glimpses-The Children’s Program

    What could you do with an empty two-liter bottle, some leaves, leftover veggies, and grass clippings? If you volunteered with The Children’s Program of MGGKC you could teach grade school children how to do composting during a STEM event at Kellybrook Elementary School.

    The Children’s Program offers a unique opportunity for EMGs that differs from working in a more traditional partnership garden. The Children’s Program is entirely outreach; the purpose is to teach children gardening education using hands-on activities. These activities must be practical and mobile, as they are designed to go where the kids are. Activities generally focus on one or two specific concepts that are designed for ages ranging from three to twelve. The curriculum has been developed by EMGs over the past several years, including concepts like “Is it a fruit or vegetable?” and “Butterflies.” Inspiration for ideas often comes from gardening for kids’ websites, science lessons, and EMG ingenuity.

    Activities are created with the necessary educational materials packed in totes ready to go to an event. Volunteers can quickly familiarize themselves with the material and be ready to present right away. Lyn Sorenson, program coordinator, and Debbie Johnson, co-coordinator, expressed a need for volunteers to design new concepts and fun activities for future Children’s Program events.

    Speaking of volunteers, the EMGs I watched at the STEM event were having as much fun as the kids, and parents. One child listened intently as an EMG explained how composting worked using the two-liter bottle as a visual aid. He thoughtfully turned the bottle around, carefully looking at the layers of leaves, veggies, and grass. As another child approached, the boy turned and began to expertly explain composting to that child. Another child turned to her parent and declared that their family should start composting tonight.

    Lyn and Debbie expressed that working with children in the past is not a requirement. What one needs to be a great volunteer in The Children’s Program is the ability to reach out and engage by demonstrating a love of gardening and sharing fun experiences. Every EMG in The Children’s Program that I spoke with expressed the satisfaction and joy they felt watching children light up as they learned. Lyn put it best when she explained that every interaction is different, but every child leaves with a smile and a greater understanding of a gardening concept.

    The next big project for The Children’s Program is The Beanstalk Family Festival at The Kansas City Community Garden at Swope Park in September. This event reaches over 150 children and adults. Please sign up to volunteer for an upcoming event, propose a new activity idea, or both. As an EMG, we are dedicated to educating the public about gardening. What better way to educate than teaching children about gardening, and helping them understand their place in creating a better environment for tomorrow?

  • What are EMGs doing at the Blue Springs Historical Museum?

    Blue Springs Historical Society -Blooming Blue Springs The Blue Springs Historical Society partnered with Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City in 2019 to create Blooming Blue Springs Garden Team.  If you have walked by the museum lately, you might have...

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  • Drought and our Trees

    This is valuable information from Purdue Extension about our beloved trees in our landscapes. "Water is the most limiting ecological resource for a tree, and without adequate moisture, decline and death are imminent. " Drought? Don't forget the trees!  

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  • April Gardening

    Spring is here. If you are interested in gardening outdoors, now is the time to start. Cool Season Vegetables, those that thrive in cooler temperatures can be sown into moist, crumbly garden soil now. Follow the planting information on the...

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  • Tall, Dark & Bearded–Iris Culture

    Learn how to grow beautiful irises at our Annual Spring Gardening Seminar!! This presentation will cover types of irises both tall bearded and spuria. Learn about iris culture with emphasis on the best site selection and preparation, planting, culture, and...

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  • Orchids and Succulents: Rare and Unusual

    Join us on March 14th, 2020 at the Annual Spring Gardening Seminar and learn how to grow lady slipper orchids plus maintain and grow a succulent plant, and which type of potting medium to use for each. Learn about new...

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  • Native Landscapes for Small Spaces

      Join us for our 19th Annual Spring Gardening Seminar to find out why native plantings are so important, especially in urban spaces, and how to pick the right "must-have" native plants for your small space. Environmentally friendly native-plant maintenance...

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  • Learn about Mushrooms in the Midwest

    Join us for our 19th Annual Spring Gardening Seminar to learn how to handle mushroom specimens and learn about common mushrooms in the Midwest, from edibles and their toxic lookalikes to common "yard" mushrooms. Learn the basics of mushroom ecology...

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  • Want to Grow Grapes in Missouri?

      Learn how to establish a vineyard, train vines, manage birds, harvest the crop, and pruning tips at the Annual Spring Gardening Seminar, March 14th.  Home gardeners will also learn how to use good crop management to produce a quality...

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  • Start Trees Off Right

    Research from K-State’s John C. Pair Horticultural Center has quantified the effect of controlling grasses around newly planted trees. Jason Griffin, William Reid, and Dale Bremer conducted a study to investigate the inhibition of growth of transplanted, seedling trees when lawn...

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  • Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People

                    Dave Tylka, who will be presenting  at the Master Gardeners Annual Spring Seminar, is a semi-retired professor of Biology at St. Louis Community College at Meramec where he taught full time for...

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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program