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County Master Gardeners encourage children to grow their own gardens

– File photo

Prince Edward County Master Gardeners invite children to create their own gardens this year and join in a fun competition for their Children’s Garden Award.

Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide free, balanced, non-judgmental advice to local gardeners. They are passionate about gardening and have taken the necessary training and commitments to become an official Master Gardener within the local chapter.

“The Children’s Garden Award gives us the opportunity to encourage children to learn a passion for gardening, a wonderful learning experience and, hopefully fond memories,” said Katie Middleton, a member of the children’s garden committee. “As Master Gardeners we are dedicated to providing in-depth gardening information to the general public. Being a member of our group, we are required to put in so many volunteer hours per year.”

For this contest, each applicant must plant a garden on their own and keep a journal – either by hand or electronically. Participants can plant whatever they like – vegetables, flowers, herbs or any combination. They can plant from seeds or buy plants, but they must do the work by themselves.

They can plant their garden anywhere in the County: in their own backyard, at another family member or neighbour’s garden plot, in raised beds, in containers, or a community garden plot.

Master Gardeners will monitor contestants’ progress, either in person or by phone.
If possible, members will visit the contestants garden twice during the summer (early summer, then September). They will take photos, look at the contestant’s journal and ask questions about their garden.
All COVID-19 protocols will be followed and will be adjusted as required.
If in-person visits are not possible, they will ask parents to send in photos of the garden and of the journal. Members will also chat with the contestants on the phone.

Applications are being taken online until April 30 from children between the ages of six and 12. There will be a Junior (6-9 years) and Senior (10-12 years) category, with prizes in each. First prize is $100; second, $50 and third prize is $25 for each age group with a plaque to keep. There will be an overall winner whose name will be engraved on the CGA trophy.

Click here to visit the PEC Master Gardeners’ website to find an information brochure for parents and the application form. Questions can be directed to pecmastergardeners@gmail.com

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