Foundation for Youth
"Gardening for Kids"
Master Gardeners who would like to participate in this program should:
1. Complete the EMG Working with Minors training at https://purdue.cal.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_boEB8CsBw17SE81
2. Complete the background check form attached below and return it with a copy of your Driver's License
to the Foundation for Youth (FFY) at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Attend an organizational meeting at FFY on April 8.
- Two sessions of the organizational meeting will be offered, one at 1 pm and one at 6 pm.
- Volunteers need to attend only one of the sessions.
While there are many ways Master Gardeners “Help Others Grow”, there’s hardly anything more rewarding than helping kids learn what gardening is all about in the "Gardening for Kids" program!
The Columbus Foundation for Youth (FFY) provides all the gardening tools and one staff person to assist with the program. Several of our SCIMGA Master Gardeners volunteer to make this an exciting learning program for the kids who come to the FFY. About 25-32 kids per day typically participate in the program! Master Gardener volunteers work directly with kids in small groups of 3-5, depending on the number of kids and volunteers.
The program begins in early May. The garden season starts off by having the kids plant early crops such as radishes, lettuce, sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, carrots, onions, kale and popcorn. When the kids can’t get in the garden because of rain, they can make signs for the garden and mobiles they can take home. Later in the season, the kids plant tomatoes and bell peppers. Apparently rabbits like kohlrabi, so sometimes the kids have to replant part of their crop at that time, too. The raised bed gardens built during the 2019 "Day of Sharing" should go a long way in protecting the plants from those hungry marauders!
Master Gardeners use the large kitchen at the FFY to help kids learn to prepare whatever the current crop might be. The kids love to consume the produce they’ve grown. This includes strawberries, cherries, apples or whatever is ready from the garden. Leftover produce, is placed in the front lobby for parents to take home.
During the school year, Master gardeners volunteer from 4 – 6 PM. After school is out for the summer, the hours switch to 9-11 AM. The kids look forward to welcoming a guest speakers who might talk about bees, plants, nature or other garden topics. And as the season goes on, the kids learn how to mulch, weed, and harvest the gardens.