Northern Neck Master Gardener Pam Brown works with one of the Boys & Girls Club students at the “pizza garden.”
Northern Neck Master Gardener Pam Brown works with one of the Boys & Girls Club students at the “pizza garden.”

The Northern Neck Master Gardeners (NNMG) have undertaken a vegetable growing program at the new Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck (BGC) facility in Burgess. The program, “Growing Healthy Lifestyles,” is funded through a grant for community and school gardens from the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program at Virginia Tech.

The NNMG Youth Education Committee co-chairs, Carmela Crawford and Bethany Bosold, have worked with Imani Robinson, Northumberland Boys and Girls Club Program Director, to coordinate the project.

“The NNMGs will meet weekly throughout the summer with the BGC’s Garden Club – a popular offering for the students,” said Bethany Bosold. “We will teach them about gardening by growing vegetables and herbs.”

“The first step was the creation of four raised-bed gardens with the hands-on involvement of the boys and girls,” continued Bosold. “The first lesson was planting a pizza garden with herbs, tomatoes, and peppers donated by Tammy Wilkins, who runs the greenhouse program at Northumberland High School.”

According to Bosold, “The project has been a wonderful community partnership, and the students have enjoyed the hands-on learning and gardening. They are very enthusiastic and many have even tasted new vegetables!”

NNMGs donated seeds and tomato plants. Support came from the Northumberland Lancaster Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.

Other summer themes include soils and worms, leaves, the parts of plants we eat, good and bad insects in the garden, herbs, and butterflies and pollinators. The Northumberland Boys and Girls Club and the Northern Neck Master Gardeners look forward to maintaining their growing partnership into the future.

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