Saturday, April 12, 2014

4-H Garden Club Tours the Franklin County Demonstration Gardens

by Carol Kagan

On Thursday, April 10, the newly formed Franklin County 4-H Garden Club, and many of their parents, toured the demonstration gardens and various working areas at the Penn State Extension Ag Heritage Center on Franklin Farm Road in Chambersburg.
They met at the Clubhouse, an area adjoining the barn, saying the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge as they start every meeting. Club Secretary Emily took attendance and ran out of room on her membership chart which had 15 lines. We had 18 members in attendance!

The group began their tour with leader Jess Kaufmann and Master Gardener Barb Petrucci providing narrative.

What did they see?

Travelling through the Pollinator Garden
The Pollinator Garden, recently tidied up looks great. The Drought-tolerant Garden has a few evergreens showing and needed a bit of an explanation. The Perennial Garden, also recently cleaned up, has a few crocus showing. The Herb Garden remains neat from last fall. The 10 raised bed themes were highlighted by the fragrance bed with tall stands of overwintered lavender and the rose trellis.
Learning about the Perennial Garden
The group was awed by the size of the area designated for their club garden (as yet unnamed). Even with a group of 18, and no doubt many grown-up helpers, preliminary plans are to use just a portion.
View of the future Garden Club garden site
The Holding Area and Greenhouse (just a peek inside) was particularly of interest to the parents who not only didn't realize all these gardens were here but didn't know that our plant sale is different than many others; ours offering plants grown by Master Gardeners and not ordered in.
At the Pergola in the Wildlife Area
The Wildlife Area provided a leisurely stroll with lots of evergreens and some new shoots popping up. There were questions and interest in the Certified Wildlife Habitat designation. The compost area and, last but not least, the Victory Garden where the overwintering sunflower stalks will make an appearance on next week's scavenger hunt.

Radishes waiting to be planted! (Carol Kagan)
The tour ended back at the Clubhouse where the gardeners planted radish seeds to take home and nurture. They were provided with a copy of the seed packet to review planting depth, germination, maturity date and other information.

Learning about planting depth before planting their radishes.
Next week: Let's see if they can remember what they saw and where as teams go on a scavenger hunt, recording their finds as digital pictures.

Unless noted, all photos courtesy of gardener Abby Pugh.

And here's Abby's radishes as of Monday morning

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