‘Science Of Gardening’ Students Share Bounty At Luncheon

Potter County Today

Turnout was excellent Saturday for a Community Garden Lunch Buffet at the Hotel Crittenden in Coudersport. Students from the 4-H Science of Gardening program grew many of the vegetables that were served at the fund-raising luncheon for the Coudersport Senior Center. “This has been a great year for the Community Garden and the kids have been looking for a way to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported us,” explained Carrie Bowman, Cooperative Extension youth educator, who has teamed with horticulturalist Bill Waltman to oversee the garden at Maple View. Ms. Bowman and the students were joined by Potter County Human Services employees and other volunteers to make sure the buffet operated smoothly. Among Science of Gardening students who helped out as servers Saturday were (from left) Elizabeth Smoulder, Donovan Olney and Trevor Olney.

At the garden, now in its second year of production at the county’s Maple View property, the leaders have integrated growing information with studies of climate, soils and agricultural economics. Some of the experiments that have been conducted at the plot, such as grape-growing and test plantings of unconventional potato species, could have applications for commercial agriculture.

As they did during the Community Garden’s inaugural year in 2009, the students have donated some of their crops to senior citizens and people in need. Here, Dr. Waltman (recovering from knee surgery) prepares to join some of the students in taking a lap full of zucchini squash to Freeman House. Vegetables have been grown without the use of pesticides. Crop rotations, composting, and cover crops are being used to move the garden toward organic certification in the coming years. The project’s “hands-on” approach teaches the group about the stages of plants, timing of insect arrivals, fungal diseases, pollination processes, and the role of rotations in soil health and quality. Local farmers have donated supplies and assistance and parents such as ConnieSue Olney (right) have pitched in to help. For more information on the Community Garden, contact Carrie Bowman at cbb136@psu.edu or 274-8540.

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