A Growing Team sharing about their experience
Good Natured Garden Partners (GNGP) is a program that allows a collaboration between OSU Extension, Mahoning County, and youth programs throughout the Mahoning Valley. The groups in the program are called “growing teams.” The growing teams that participate have at least one adult facilitator and as many youth that want to take part in the garden. GNGP usually ranges from 10-15 growing teams per year. Growing teams are allowed to be sponsored by an organization, but do not have to be. The goal of these growing teams is to plant and care for a garden throughout the summer. Youth learn the importance of hard work, dedication, and responsibility through this program, while learning where their food comes from and how to provide for themselves.
Youth at the End of Summer Garden Party
At the end of the program GNGP have an “End of the Summer Garden Party” where the participants come together for fellowship and a friendly competition. The competition is for the growing teams to bring in the products of their gardens. There are categories for vegetables such as; best plate of peppers, best plate of tomatoes, biggest zucchini, best plate of cucumbers, other vegetables, vegetable oddities, best basket of vegetables, and dress up the vegetable. There are also categories for herbs and flowers such as; largest sunflower, best bouquet of flowers, and best bouquet of herbs. The youth participants receive ribbons and prizes during the competition for all of their hard work. During the garden party the growing teams are asked to come forward and tell about their time in the garden throughout the summer.
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Article courtesy of Kristen Eisenhauer, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development and Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mahoning County, Ohio.