Digging Deeper for Community Opportunities
Another day, another interview. This week I was thrilled to meet with Jennifer Schutter-Barnes, the horticulture specialist at our MU extension.
First off, what is the MU extension?
In the simplest terms, it is a partner of the University of Missouri and hopes to go out and educate the community. These classes are catered to the area in which it is located, so living in a more rural area, our classes are geared more toward horticulture, farming, and small businesses, but there is definitely something for everyone. There are so many courses listed that I could have filled my whole notebook with them, so I will link the page at the bottom to check it out yourself. However, to name a few: 4-H, Master Gardening, ShowMe-Select Heifers, and nutrition. (See, I told you there were a lot of different things going on)
But back to Garden N' Grow...
I was so excited when I first learned about this opportunity being in Kirksville. It allows children to sign up for a plot of land; they are taught how to grow plants of their choice, how to tend to them properly, and are even taught how to cook them. (I may be borrowing the squash blossom recipe to try for myself). This program allows kids and parents to learn how to grow their own food sustainably, and not only is it educational, but you also get to eat too! I call that a win-win, but if you still aren't convinced, keep reading for more details...
Jennifer has been hosting the Garden N' Grow program for 21 years as the Horticulture Specialist at the MU Extension. She runs the program from late May to early August, meeting twice a week from 9 am-11 am, but many families will continue to harvest on their own time until the first major freeze. I will say the only downside is there are only 10ish spots each season, so it's best to sign up as soon as possible to take advantage of this wonderful summer activity.
Want to learn more check them out here or follow them on their social media @MUextensionadaircounty for daily posts!