Letter: 16 seasons and blooming
Another year for the Master Gardener/4-H Fourth Grade Garden Project has come to a close. This year, 2013, has been our 16th year of the program and we have all learned, once again, that gardening is an experiment; and once again, we had great success and a lot of fun working with the students on that experiment.
What a wonderful bunch the fourth graders are. All the families of this year’s class can be very proud of how hard their kids worked and how much they learned. The Master Gardener teachers provided lessons in basic botany, composting and recycling, "good bugs and bad bugs," and just how important plants are to us and to the world. We also worked with the students on a hands-on activity of planting seeds, raising seedlings under lights, and then planting the baby plants out in the little flower garden behind the school. With approximately 100 children in the fourth grade this year, we now have given this experience to nearly 1,600 children of Mathews County.
Those 100 students that started with us way back in 1997 may soon be sending their own children to Lee-Jackson Elementary. Some of the plants they planted 16 years ago are still in the garden and are beginning to bloom for yet another year. What a very nice legacy they all left behind for us. Many of those students were in Jahn Ramsey’s second grade class years ago, and along with all the staff of the Lee-Jackson family, they knew that Mrs. Ramsey loved flowers. When she died, many felt it appropriate to remember her with a little garden … and there, at the front of the little plot, is a commemorative plaque in her honor. It is nice for the students to realize that someone so highly thought of will always be remembered and that they, along with so many other fourth graders through the years, have contributed to that memorial.
We want to thank Tatterson Greenhouses for donating all the potting soil, as they have each year, and Mobjack Nursery and Moughons, for giving us lots of help in the beginning, and providing support ever since.
To all the students, teachers, staff supporters, community resources and vendors, and especially the Master Gardeners who have made this program such a success, I personally want to say a very big thank you!
Gale Hood, coordinator
Fourth grade garden program