I’ve joined my local gardening club. I was told by the organizer that I will be the second male member ever, and the other male joined last year. Breaking that glass ceiling over here in western PA!
I expect to be part of a group that is close to retirement age for the most part because the monthly meeting time is a weekday at 11 AM. That said, I can probably shift my schedule around to make it most months. Duties will include weeding the local garden beds as well as helping out with an annual plant sale in some capacity.
I am excited to network with the group and to learn more about growing ornamentals/annuals as I expect to be the main focus. Both of these are areas I have spent very little time researching so I am certain I’ll learn many new things.
My main driver in joining the group, however, is to learn more about what might be possible regarding community allotments/ community garden beds that could be claimed by a different person each year (possibly allowing for a “club” where you get the chance to keep your bed once claimed). I know there is a huge amount of green space in at least three local parks which could be utilized for this project if the township is not against the idea.
I plan to read the book I have about community scale gardening and to come equipped with a working knowledge on the subject as much as possible for the first meeting, but to sit back and see what the group is about before springing any wild ideas about food crops rather than annuals to make the local signs look nice. There is certainly a place for community beautification and I’m happy to participate and learn from it, but that isn’t my passion.
Is anyone else a member of a local garden club? Have you found it a fulfilling experience or was it something that you would recommend against?
I feel like there could be some strong feelings for this subject and this post is not intended to devolve into a rant about the knowledge (or lack thereof) of people who are Master Gardeners. If you have a quick comment that’s fine but let’s not make a bash fest of it.
I didn’t want to say it outright from the start, but I’m picturing a bunch of frumpy old ladies going to the local diner to talk about the morning newspaper and watering pansies, but expecting a (hopefully) energetic group of young minded people who have a passion for their community and want to make the world a better place one pretty flower at a time.
My mother and grandmother have encouraged me to take part of a garden club hoping I make friends. Like you I am more interested in permaculture food systems than flowers and have never been a big annual person. I would rather spend my off days doing my own gardening with my own plants and learning on forums as well as watching YouTube than be talking about flowers or annuals. Not to mention Sundays people are busy with other stuff and so am I and Tuesday is a weird day for clubs. I work on Saturday
I am co-sponsor of a high school garden club. We have between 25 and 70 students per week (we also meet on Tuesdays). We generally start with a short lesson, followed by something hands on and finish with a snack and clean up.
This week we were sprouting brocolli raab seeds making microgreens that we will eat next week at the meeting.
i’ve demo’ed grafting, rooting, etc. We’ve checked germination rates.
We have 2 courtyards and we are transforming one of them into a edible forest. We have a large Bengali population and we will be adding a Shanxi Li jujube (boroi) this spring.
We’ve set up a timed irrigation system and students are responsible for soil tests on both the raised beds and nutrient/pH levels on the hydroponic (lettuce grow) tower.
We have taken the kids to an apple orchard (a rarity for these mainly inner city kids) and have a trip to a commercial greenhouse planned.
I went to one master gardener garden club thingy here in Texas. It took about 5 minutes to get a pretty good idea that it was all about landscaping, using the Texas A &M approved varieties, and using agrochemicals. Maybe they are different in different places.
Good for you. But I guess you do have a bit of a ‘captive audience’.
Speaking of annuals, perennials and fruit…grafted 15 apples today, tried hand pollinating honeyberries as most of my varieties are blooming and I see no bees, planted 3 iris in a pond yesterday, planted a blue juniper, moved some sea oats, moved some mookshood,
planted some black mustard seeds, transplated some baby hellebores, took note that one pear graft that never leafed out last year has buds getting larger this spring…
We were lucky to learn to garden at a young age. Many youngsters didn’t have that experience. Though my schools didn’t have these programs and I am kind of jealous they do now I think it is a good thing even though I question many who teaches these programs knowing what they are doing
You just never know. I joined the Maryland Bonsai Association after going to a meeting and being amazed by the large numbers of people of all ages. A real working meeting where everyone brings and works on their own trees. I figured it would be all older retired people but that was maybe 1/3 of the room.
Lack of bees…last year plenty blooms, but got 3 honeyberries.
And the ONLY apples seemed to be ones I intervened in.
So…this year just being a little proactive.
Hate to have compatible pollination varieties almost beside each other and in bloom and get no results.
Bloom is early of course, and bees have many choices suddenly here…I realize it’s still cold some places, and it may be here next Friday!