Hor­ti­cul­tural so­ci­ety plant­ing seeds with its Ju­nior Gar­den Club

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - LIZ BE­VAN

THE ELMIRA AND DISTRICT Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety is search­ing for young people look­ing to learn a lit­tle bit more and de­velop their green thumbs.

Irene Dickau runs the Ju­nior Gar­den Club, and she says the mem­bers al­ways learn plenty through­out the plant­ing and har­vest­ing sea­son.

“We help them, but it is all about learn­ing for them,” she said. “This year we want the kids to learn that plants have been around for a long time and they are very use­ful even if you think they are not. That will be by em­pha­sis.”

This year’s theme for this year is pol­li­na­tors, nui­sance weeds and Canada 150.

“We al­ways do pol­li­na­tors, and this year, we are go­ing to talk about things like dan­de­lions, which can be a nui­sance, but were ac­tu­ally used by Na­tive people. We picked weeds that are com­mon, that the kids can rec­og­nize and make a con­nec­tion with,” said Dickau. “Our third theme is Canada 150, and for that, the flow­ers we grow this year will be red and white. We wanted some­thing that would grow quickly, and would stay true to colour. It will be be­go­nias and I have al­ready started seed­ing lit­tle red and white but­ton zin­nias.”

The club starts up on May 10, meet­ing ev­ery Wed­nes­day from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and is open to young gar­den­ers age seven to 10. Each child gets their own gar­den plot where they will grow their flow­ers and like ev­ery year, veg­eta­bles for their an­nual salad sup­per.

“We make the salad from what they grow,” said Dickau. “They grow let­tuce and spinach usu­ally, and we bring ev­ery­thing to­gether, we do the wash­ing, put it

the salad spin­ner, and some of the kids tear up the let­tuce, and then they will eat it.”

In past years, club mem­bers have been treated to ed­u­ca­tional vis­its from lo­cal ex­perts, some­thing Dickau says she hopes she can con­tinue to do this year.

“We have had a lo­cal bee­keeper come by and did stuff with the kids in the gar­dens and we did that dur­ing the day time when the bees are out, so they could see the bees at work, then my daugh­ter, she is into botany, she came in to talk to the club about do­mes­ti­cat­ing corn from way, way back,” she ex­plained.

This year’s gar­den­ers could be in for a treat that has been a long time com­ing.

“Three years ago, we had these lit­tle seedlings that Barb had got­ten of milk­weed be­cause we were try­ing to at­tract the monarch but­ter­flies. They haven’t bloomed yet, but hope­fully this year, they will bloom for us,” said Dickau.

The club has al­ready got five mem­bers signed up and ready for May 11, but they are hop­ing for ten in to­tal.

To reg­is­ter for the club, call Dickau at 519-669-3244, or Sue Neufeld at 519-6643388. Reg­is­tra­tion is $15 for the whole gar­den­ing sea­son.

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