Four times a year a dedicated group of University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener volunteers from across the state gather with Extension Master Gardener program leaders at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to make sure they are all serving the needs of volunteers and Minnesota communities.
U of M Extension Master Gardeners train public housing residents to beautify their surroundings, grow their own food and make their high-rise apartments and town homes feel more like home. The residents do this by becoming Garden Mentors. They take on leadership and facilitation responsibilities in their neighborhood community garden. Garden Mentors currently work the gardens at six high-rises and one town home development.
By giving away the easy-care houseplants in pretty containers, along with written instructions for their care, Stevens County Master Gardeners have created awareness and grown interest in gardening with more than 150 college students this year. They also made them feel less lonely being away from home.
Realizing that not everyone has access to land to plant a large-scale vegetable garden, University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners in Hubbard County coordinated a “Patio Vegetable Gardening Program” to reduce that obstacle for food shelf clientele.