Delaware County 4-H and Delaware County Master Gardeners were recipients this year of the 2012 Youth Voice: Youth Choice Community Partner program offered through the Iowa 4-H program and Wal-Mart. A mini-grant totaling $1,000 supported the project by purchasing plants, soil and other supplies necessary to present educational projects at the Early Childhood Fair, The Meadows and Good Neighbor Home and the youth “Lunch and Learn” program at United Methodist Church in Manchester this growing season. Funding for this program was provided through the National 4-H Council and the Wal-Mart Foundation. The grant was administered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The program brought together youth 4-H members and Delaware County Master Gardeners in a joint project to encourage healthy lifestyle habits in youth through home gardening, the consumption of local foods and to promote the benefits of fruits and vegetables into healthy diets.
The first phase of the project reached over 250 people, all families with young children, who attend the Delaware County Early Childhood Fair. The 4-H’ers provided healthy snacks to guests (pretzel snack kabobs for kids) - along with the recipe, new information on “Choose My Plate” nutritional guidelines, “Eat Fresh Fruit” magnets and other healthy lifestyle materials from ISU Extension and Outreach. The Master Gardeners shared a display and ISUEO information on how easy it is to grow your own vegetable garden, perfect for the April 21 date of this event. The two groups coordinated their efforts and together made 4-H/Master Gardener bookmarks that featured paper embedded with parsley seed. The bookmarks served as a positive conversation point for kids and hopefully encouraged many to go home and plant the seeded paper.
The second phase of project had the 4-H members joining the Master Gardeners’ already successful “Growing in the Garden” summer education program. The 4-H’ers helped plant vegetable and salsa gardens in May at the Meadows, Good Neighbor Home and the Manchester United Methodist Church - where the “Lunch & Learn” program was held weekly for area children. Once the gardens were planted, educational programs were chosen, planned and presented about every two weeks from June to August. A total of 22 presentations were given, by both Master Gardeners and 4-H members, on topics such as making fresh salsa, herbs, salad greens, flower arranging and growing berries. Ared bud tree was also planted – in honor of this year’s release of the popular animated Dr. Seuss’ movie The Lorax – with the Lunch and Learn kids in June as a part of the presentation held at the United Methodist Church.
To view many more photos from this summer’s project, be sure to visit and like the new ISU Extension and Outreach – Delaware County Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DelawareCountyISUExtension
4-H youth participating in the project this year were: Becca Hermann, Hanna Marbach, Kristin Schnieders, Sarah Miller, Anelyse Gerst, Miriam Miller and Hailey Marbach. Many Delaware County Master Gardeners also participated, they included: Al Remling, Ed and Mary Ann Poynor, Joyce Kessenich, Sandy Swanson, Carol Burke, Diane Monaghan, Janice Marbach, Michelle DeBlieck, Bob Wendt and others. Project coordinators included Master Gardener Jacque Lahr and Delaware County Extension Program Director and Master Gardener Lori Scovel.