Master Gardeners grow good stewards

Published 8:55 am Friday, July 8, 2011

Isle of Wight Master Gardener Penny Craun listens as Wyatt Raiford, 9, of Black Creek explains some of the projects the class worked on during the week. -- SUBMITTED | WENDY HARRISON


FRANKLIN—Participants in a weeklong Western Tidewater Master Gardeners’ class learned that plants are not the only things that need nurturing when it comes to horticulture.

The Paul D. Camp Community College Kids College course, “Gardening for a Healthy Earth,” taught summer students how to improve the soil and reduce the need for chemical controls.

“It is definitely one of the most popular classes each year,” said Kids College Director Teri Zurfluh.

The Isle of Wight Extension Office-based horticulturists have participated in Kids College for four years.

“The kids love every minute of it,” said Isle of Wight Extension Agent Janet Spencer.

Fourteen youth going into second through fifth grades learned about plant growth and development, clean air and water, mulch and compost, and usage of trees and shrubs. In addition, about 14 master gardeners contributed to the project, including team leaders Mary Catherine Foster, Tammie Matthews and Penny Craun.

Students also went to Erwin Orchards, owned by JM and Janet Erwin of Zuni.

“My favorite part was the field trip,” said 10-year-old Cierra White of Franklin.

At the end of the week, students presented a program to parents and guests on what they learned.

“We tried to instill good gardening habits in the children,” said master gardener Bob Craun.

The children also created garden-related crafts to take home.