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Master Gardeners to launch junior program in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma County Master Gardeners and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service will team this summer to help take the mystery out of growing food that is healthy and available.
By MELISSA HOWELL, Staff Writer Published: May 15, 2014
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Genetically modified produce. Food deserts. Epidemic obesity and processed foods.

There’s a lot to be aware of when it comes to the food we eat.

The Oklahoma County Master Gardeners and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service will team up this summer to help take the mystery out of growing food that is healthy and available.

Oklahoma County Master Gardeners will host two Junior Master Gardener workshops for children ages 8 to 11 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. June 12 and 21 at the county extension headquarters, 930 N Portland.

The program was designed by volunteers who hold the Oklahoma County Master Gardener certification and draws its curriculum from well-established state and national programs.

Hands-on activities will include harvesting and tasting fresh vegetables, learning parts of plants and the parts we eat, composting and soil fertility, how to plant seeds, playing gardening games and making garden crafts, collecting bugs and identifying good vs. bad bugs, as well as a tour of the Oklahoma County Master Gardeners’ garden with “Mr. Green Jeans.”

In preparation for the more full-scale Junior Master Gardener program, Oklahoma County Master Gardeners launched a pilot program in 2012 that continues to operate at the Urban Mission, 3737 N Portland, as a part of the organization’s after-school curriculum.

“That went really well,” said Judy Morton, Master Gardener and workshop coordinator. “We were trying to see how this program would fit into our community. … How receptive our audience would be.”

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Junior Master Gardener workshops

Each workshop is limited to 20 children. The cost of the workshop is $20 per child, which includes materials and a Junior Master Gardener T-shirt. Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch and to wear sunscreen. The deadline to register is May 29. To register, call 713-1125 or access the extension website at http://oces.okstate.edu/oklahoma.

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