AMES, Iowa – Iowa 4-H Youth Development has launched Gardening to Give — a hands-on educational gardening program designed for all ages and abilities. Gardening to Give is a six-month, immersive learning experience in gardening with educational resources shared weekly with registered participants.
“Gardening to Give focuses on encouraging all Iowans to grow gardens statewide to provide food for their families as well as local food pantries and food banks,” said Haley Jones, 4-H civic engagement and leadership specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Registered participants will receive weekly gardening challenges and learning activities focused on a specific gardening topic, ranging from planting, weed control and pollinators to examples of how to share harvested produce with others. The weekly educational lessons are designed to provide applicable learning for small container gardens to large-scale backyard garden beds using seeds and plants that are accessible to the grower.
Participants are then encouraged to share their gardening successes and plans to use their harvested produce through coordinated social media initiatives. Participants are also encouraged to connect with their ISU Extension and Outreach county office to obtain additional horticultural information, connect with local experts and participate in local gardening workshops.
“Gardening to Give provides an extended learning opportunity for youth and adults alike to learn together and share their successes in the garden,” said Jones. “The great thing about this program is that participants can engage in this online learning opportunity when it’s most convenient for them.”
While this educational experience extends over a six-month period, participants can register and choose to engage at any time in select portions of Gardening to Give or the entire learning experience. There is no cost or commitment involved to participate.
Registration for the Gardening to Give program is now open.
“Register now to get your hands dirty and pledge them to larger service by growing a garden with ISU Extension and Outreach and Iowa 4-H Youth Development,” Jones said. Visit the Gardening to Give webpage for more information.