Master Gardeners Honor Former Boys & Girls Club Garden Members | Local News

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The Big Spring Master Gardeners Association paid tribute to former members in the Boys and Girls Club Project Garden on Saturday morning.

Two stones bearing the names of former master gardeners Virginia Williams and Sandee Grimes have been placed in the garden of the Greeneville / Greene County Boys & Girls Club.

Williams and Grimes passed away suddenly a few years ago according to Beth Hembree, a member of the Master Gardeners Association, member since 2012. Williams and Grimes were an integral part of the development of the Boys & Girls Club gardening program when the program began. 10 years ago. Both women were active with the children and helped keep the program going.

The Boys & Girls Club program helps children learn about plants and pollination through hands-on gardening.

Every Monday, the master gardeners meet the children at the Boys & Girls Club, involving them in hands-on gardening in the spring and summer and in classes and indoor activities in the winter.

“The kids mainly help with planting and picking vegetables. They love digging up underground vegetables like carrots and potatoes,” Hembree said.

After the vegetables are picked, they often take them back to their parents to show off their hard work.

According to Boys & Girls Club general manager Scott Bullington, the kids at the club love the program and sometimes eat their veg at the Boys & Girls Club.

“Kids claim to dislike vegetables most of the time, but when they come out of this garden they eat them. They used to have a slice of tomato from their sandwich at Chik-Fil-A, but when they get a tomato from the garden here they will eat everything, ”Bullington said.

“We have a great partnership with the Boys & Girls Club. We plan with them and they work with us to provide snacks during our time with the kids that we ask for. They are a great partner,” Hembree said.

Currently, the Boys & Girls Club garden has winter cover crops to improve the soil during the colder months to come. Plants such as red clover, turnips and Swiss chard have replaced summer vegetables.

Gardeners show up periodically throughout the week to tend the garden and water it between active Monday days.

According to Hembree, the Big Spring Master Gardeners Association has around 30 active members who look after the gardens and provide education throughout the community.

The nonprofit group also manages the gardens of the Tabernacle Mission Soup Kitchen and the New Hope Cemetery.

“Our main focus is education and service to the community. We are a service organization and our mission is to educate people on best gardening practices,” Hembree said.

The organization also runs community programs related to horticulture and gardening.

The Master Gardeners program works in conjunction with the University of Tennessee Extension Office.

“We can actually do trials for UT with our vegetables in the spring and summer. We keep an eye on the growth and production of the plants and report to UT,” Hembree said.

Members of the program take training courses at the University of Tennessee. Each year, members are required to register a certain number of volunteer hours and participate in continuing education courses.

Those interested in becoming a Master Gardener can visit bsmga.com to register. Online classes to join the program begin in January.


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