While there is no regular “In a North State Garden” radio program this weekend, this week’s feature essay is the follow-up to the special one-hour Call-In Edition of “In a North State Garden” that was aired on Thursday March 25th. The resources list was compiled with the help of my panel of guest experts and educators: Lisa Endicott of McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay in Redding; Quinn Mendez, teacher with the Agriculture Department at Chico High School and Claudia Randall, an 11th grade Agriculture student at Chico High; and Adrienne Edwards, PhD., Botanist, Ecologist, Arborist, and education chair of the Mt. Lassen chapter of the California Native Plant Society.
All of my guests are happy to be contacted with appropriate questions, comments:
Lisa Endicott can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrienne Edwards, as education chair for CNPS, can be contacted for advice on starting native plant-pollinator gardens on school campuses can be reached at: email@example.com
Quinn Mendez can be reached at: QMendez@mail.chicousd.org.
In the course of the past week, readers and listeners have been posting memories of learning to garden and love plants themselves, and of teaching that love to their children or grandchildren. The strongest memories all came back to: how sweet and delicious fruits and vegetables tasted when grown in a home garden, how fascinatingly tactile dirt, plants, and bugs in the garden were; how magical plants and flowers were; and, finally, how hard and endless the work of it was.
When asked about plant programming for children, one reader (with a wry sense of humor) responded: “Our family has had a long standing gardening program for our children, fondly known to them as ‘slave labor’ or occasionally ‘yard work for pay’. Pretty much guaranteed to put them off gardening for several years after leaving home.”
Many other comments recalled similar sentiments: of “weeding, weeding, weeding” or “watering, watering, watering,” and “I swore I would never be a gardener because of the forced labor of my childhood. Dang, and what happened, I love to garden. I love to garden with my kids and they voluntarily weed my gardens for me.”
My panel of experts all agreed with all of these wide-ranging sentiments and the consensus was that a strong correlation existed between the hard labor AND the sweetness of the reward. The panel felt strongly that plant and garden education positively address a whole range of issues facing our society — and our children — today, and that teaching kids about plants and gardening also teaches them about: good nutrition; natural science; physical activity; the surrounding environment – including water, soils, bugs, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and weather; sustainability; independence and self-sufficiency; economics; self-control and cooperation.
Lisa Endicott, horticulture manager at the McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay talked about being asked how she could remember all the names of the plants and she described it as being very similar to remembering the names of people: “You get to know these plants, they become your friends and you develop this on-going relationship — so you remember their names.” Adrienne Edwards continued along this line, with: “Knowing a plant or animal’s name really empowers a person — connects them to the place in which they live and encourages them to take good care of that place.”
Another reader summed up the connection idea poignantly with: “We would pick cherry tomatoes and strawberries, warm from the sun. My little brother would chomp down on the tomatoes so that the juice squirted onto his chin and cheeks, and hopefully on his sisters as well. The garden of my childhood represents to me the luxury of time … time spent together, in the sun, under sparkling water, and being amazed that food could come up out of the dirt.”
So if our goal is to give this luxury of quality time, connection, relationship, responsibility and purposeful knowledge to our children, grandchildren, neighborhood, culture and planet, here are some ground rules my panel agreed on to help you toward this goal:
1. Start from your own enthusiasm.
2. Start simple, small and hands-on — for instance, just getting out in the garden to play and look at the plants before you start with a list of chores.
3. Start with the fun stuff — for instance, fresh tasty fruits and vegetables or flowers that kids can pick themselves, before the work and rules come in with watering, weeding, pruning and feeding of these same plants.
4. While safety must be a top concern, allow kids some free rein as to what they can do and where they can go in the garden/park/nature — before or even instead of all the things they CAN’T do. For instance, instead of telling your kids not to pick the flowers in the garden, grow enough that you can show them how to use clippers properly and give them a limit to the number of flowers or fruit they can pick on their own. With little people, it sometimes helps to use their age — if they are four, they may cut 4 flowers of their choice. If they simply pop the heads off, which small children have a tendency to do, you can float the flowers in a bowl and next time you can show them how to cut the flowers long on the stem for putting in a vase.
5. Incorporate or simply call attention to all the senses: taste, touch, sound, smell, sight. Kids (of all ages 1 – 100) are literal and concrete and love this kind of connection. Don’t worry about dirt — kids love dirt and most kids like to get dirty — dirt is good. Don’t eat too much. Kids love water and watering.
6. Incorporate or simply call attention to seasonal ritual: spring, summer, fall, winter. Again, kids (of all ages 1 – 100) are literal and concrete and love this kind of connection.
7. When it comes to the work aspect of the garden, give them real work and real tools that are safe and appropriate for their age and size. They know the difference between fake work and real work at an early age.
8. Incorporate plants and plant knowledge into their/your everyday lives — from trying to identify plants, to visiting parks and public gardens, to reading picture books about plants, to attending events about plants.
9. Just get out and “Do It” — walk in the park, go to the nursery, go on a garden tour, attend a wildflower identification class, attend a lecture, go to the Whole Earth festival, go out in the backyard and be together with your kids and your plants.
10. Have fun. If you start from your enthusiasm — end with your enthusiasm as well.
Below is a listing of Good Plant Events, Programs and Resources from around our region and beyond to help you get your Kids Growing! If you have others you’d like to see included, send me an email: Jennifer@jewellgarden.com.
Upcoming Events and Programs that will be fun, interesting and welcoming to children: (Many will need adult supervision/participation.)
March 26 – Chico: Tree tour of the CSU, Chico Arboretum and Bidwell Mansion. 10 am at the Bidwell Mansion Gazebo. One-and-a-half-hour easy stroll discussing HORTICULTURAL, BOTANICAL, AND HISTORICAL info about the woody plants and trees in the CSUC-Mansion Arboretum. More info: Wes Dempsey 530-342-2293 or Gerry Ingco 530-893-5213.
March 26, 27 & 28 – Redding: Spring 2010 Home & Garden Expo, Popovics Productions 1 – 7pm Fri; 10am – 7 pm Sat; 10am – 5m Sun. Anderson District Fair grounds. Features demonstrations and exhibits about products to improve the home of landscape. Kid’s Expo and more.
March 27 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay 9:30 am. A Walk with the Horticulture Manager, Lisa Endicott. Bring your notebooks and cameras for this participant-driven program. We’ll make our way through the Gardens with frequent stops for discussions about (what else?) plants! There’s something new to see every month! Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at Arboretum & Botanical Gardens West Entrance. More Info: Call 530-242-3108 or www.turtlebay.org.
March 27 – Chico: Friends of the Chico State Herbarium: GENERAL INTEREST Name that Wildflower! workshop 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Experience how to observe and identify spring wildflowers with this Beginners Wildflower Identification Workshop. Morning Session Chico State Herbarium, Holt Hall Room 129; afternoon session will be at Horseshoe Lake in Upper Bidwell Park. Registrants will take home a “Peterson’s Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers” and a hand magnifier. The registration fee is $35. To register go to: http://www.csuchico.edu/biol/Herb/workshops/WildflowerWorkshp10.pdf or call (530) 898-5381.
March 27 – Chico: Chico Creek Nature Center: Grand Opening of Kristie’s Nature Lab and the Howard S. Tucker Exhibit Hall.
March 27 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens VICTORY GARDENING 101 SERIES class#4, 10 am & 1 pm. Join us for a series of FREE classes and learn how to successfully grow a year-round vegetable garden and harvest your own food! Growing your own food is healthy and rewarding! Class four: Hands-on Demonstration Garden; putting it all together. Registration Required. Class size is limited, Register Early. FREE — for more info or to register: 8026 Airport Road Redding; www.wyntourgardens.com or call: 530-365-2256.
April 3 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Charlie Rabbit and Friends 9:30 AM. An interactive program in the Gardens (or Greenhouse in rain) for children, their siblings, parents and grandparents. Free with Park or Garden admission. Meet at Arboretum & Botanical Gardens West Entrance. More Info: Call 530-242-3108 or www.turtlebay.org.
April 3 – Oroville: Annual Wildflower and Nature Festival 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at Riverbend Park. Event celebration of spring and wildlife in Butte county. Guided hikes, pony rides, face painting, educational booths, wildlife photogprahy, plant sales, art show and acrylic paintings. Deanna Simmons, 533-2011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 3 – Redding: Wyntour Gardens KID’S EASTER BASKET PLANTING PARTY 10am to noon; kids get to plant an Easter Basket with colorful pansies, FREE! Wyntour Gardens, 8026 Airport Road (1 mi. south of the Redding Airport, next to Kents Market) Redding, CA. Phone 365-2256, visit us on the web at wyntourgardens.com or email email@example.com.
April 8 – 11 – Sacramento: California State Flower and Garden Show California Exposition. This show is driven by the passion and enthusiasm of gardeners from all over the State. Highlighting the diversity, scope and interest of the California gardening community, this will be a true Flower & Garden Show with something for everyone. More info: 1-877-696-6668, Ext 4.
April 9 – Chico: Tree tour of the CSU, Chico Arboretum and Bidwell Mansion. 10 am at the Bidwell Mansion Gazebo. One-and-a-half-hour easy stroll discussing HORTICULTURAL, BOTANICAL, AND HISTORICAL info about the woody plants and trees in the CSUC-Mansion Arboretum. More info: Wes Dempsey 530-342-2293 or Gerry Ingco 530-893-5213.
April 14 – Sacramento: Fair Oaks Horticulture Center/Sacramento County Master Gardeners OPEN GARDEN DAY 9 am – noon. Drop by to see our gardens on your own. Talk to Master Gardeners as they work. Ask questions, because every drop counts. We offer advice to grow by! Fair Oaks Park, 11549 Fair Oaks Blvd. Fair Oaks, CA 95628. More info call: 916-875-6913. Or: http://groups.ucanr.org/sactomg/Fair_Oaks_Horticulture_Center/Workshop_Schedule.htm
April 14 – Chico: Gateway Science Museum Museum Without Walls Lecture Series: Bugs in the System 7:30 PM at the Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) Center, 545 Vallombrosa Ave, Chico. Tonight’s Program: Bees through the seasons by Laurel Hill-Ward, California State University, Chico. A donation of $3 per adult is requested. Students with ID are free.
April 17 – Chico: Friends of the Chico State Herbarium: GENERAL INTEREST Name that Wildflower! workshop 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Experience how to observe and identify spring wildflowers with this Beginners Wildflower Identification Workshop. Morning Session Chico State Herbarium, Holt Hall Room 129; afternoon session will be at Horseshoe Lake in Upper Bidwell Park. Registrants will take home a “Peterson’s Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers” and a hand magnifier. The registration fee is $35. To register go to: http://www.csuchico.edu/biol/Herb/workshops/WildflowerWorkshp10.pdf or call (530) 898-5381
April 17 – Chico: Chico Horticulture Society: Great Nutrition and Fresh Food Choices Workshop for Families and Kids! 10:30 – 12:30. Where: 555 Rio Lindo, Chico (The Bloodsource Building); presented by Jona Pressman, Nutrition Program Manager for Butte County Food and Nutrition Program. The focus of the workshop is how to help families make food choices which can improve the nutritional quality of their meals. The workshop is designed to be interactive with children, with hands-on activities. They will also prepare and eat food as part of the learning process. The Chico Horticultural Club will talk about how home gardening can be a great family activity and can help families improve the quality of their food. We will provide a tomato plant to take home, along with instructions on planting and caring for the plant. Event is free, but pre-registration is required for this workshop and minimum age is 6 years old. When you register we ask you to provide the children’s names and ages that will be attending. The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 13. To register please call Ana LaRossa at 892-1595.
April 21 – Chico: Gateway Science Museum Museum Without Walls Lecture Series: Bugs in the System 7:30 PM at the Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) Center, 545 Vallombrosa Ave, Chico. Tonight’s Program: “Top 20 questions I get at the Insect Zoo” by Patrick Schlemmer, San Francisco Zoo. A donation of $3 per adult is requested. Students with ID are free. More info: www.gatewayscience.org
April 23-25 – Loomis: Loomis Basin Iris Tour and Festival Leave winter behind and embrace the spring with free tours of three iris venues in the Loomis area; High Hand Nursery, Horton’s Iris Farm and Yarda’s Ditch Water Iris Farm. Start at High Hand Nursery to pick up your map and grab a gourmet picnic lunch prepared by the High Hand Café. Stroll through High Hand Nursery and purchase irises in bloom, or order specialty irises from Horton’s or Yarda’s. Check out the iris judging at High Hand Nursery, where growers enter their pride and joy and hope to be picked the best of the best. Each of the venues will be at their most beautiful and the weather should be warm and mild. For further information call High Hand Nursery at (916) 652-2065.
April 24 – Chico: 4th Annual Growing Healthy Children Walk & Run Celebration 8 am – Bidwell Park 1 Mile Recreation Area — 1 mile, 5K and Kid Sprint Events. Race Starts Promptly at 9:00. First 300 kids registered get a free t-shirt! The whole family is welcome at this FREE event! Preregister by April 21st and pick up your race day packets and t-shirts on April 22nd and 23rd at Fleet Feet in Downtown Chico between 10 am and 6 pm. For more information or to get a registration form please email: Mnaiman28@yahoo.com.
April 24 – Redding: Whole Earth and Watershed Festival 10 am – 3 pm, Redding City Hall and Sculpture Park FREE ADMISSION. www.wholeearthandwatershedfestival.org.
April 24-25 – Redding: Home & Garden Show 10 am – 6 pm Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm Sunday, Redding Convention Center. $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, children 12 and under free. For more info: www.homeshowredding.com/Spring_Home_Show.htm
April 24-25 – Chico: Chico Bonsai Society’s Annual Spring Show 11 am – 5 pm on the 24th, 10 am – 5 pm on the 25th, Admission is free. CARD Community Center 545 Vallambrosa Avenue in Chico. Show will feature Bonsai Display, Suiseki (Viewing Stones), Continuous Bonsai Demonstrations, Saikei (miniature landscapes, plant clinic, plant sales, raffle, door prize. More Info: Pat Gilmore: 530-343-3447.
April 25 – Chico: Mt Lassen Chapter Cal Native Plant Society – Native Plant Garden Tour Visit and tour several wonderful home gardens that incorporate native plants into the overall scheme. This is a great opportunity to learn more about how to incorporate drought-tolerant native plants into a pleasing landscape. For tickets and more info: Jim and Catie Bishop: firstname.lastname@example.org or Suellen Rowlinson email@example.com.
April 28 – Chico: Gateway Science Museum Museum Without Walls Lecture Series: Bugs in the System 7:30 PM at the Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) Center, 545 Vallombrosa Ave, Chico. Tonight’s Program: Biological diversity — What’s extinction got to do with it? By Jenny Marr, California Department of Fish and Game. A donation of $3 per adult is requested. Students with ID are free. More info: www.gatewayscience.org.
April 30 – May 1 – Redding: McConnell Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay: Festa Botanica! Friday April 30 4-8 pm, Sat May 1 9am-3pm. Come on out to enjoy the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay for their annual Festa Botanica with plant sales, garden tours, vendors, crafts, music and plant experts. Turtle Bay/Arboretum Member Party & Pre-Sale is Friday, 4 to 8 PM and the General Public Sale is Saturday, 9 AM to 3 PM. The garden/plant oriented marketplace of close to 2 dozen booths will be IN the Nursery. 1100 Arboretum Drive, Redding.
May 1 – Chico: St. John’s Episcopal Church 27th Annual Garden Tour Four Fabulous Gardens will be featured on this year’s tour, along with the annual garden boutique and lunch. Check back soon for ticket information! More info: http://www.stjohnschico.org/.
May 5 – Chico: Gateway Science Museum Museum Without Walls Lecture Series: Bugs in the System 7:30 PM at the Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) Center, 545 Vallombrosa Ave, Chico. Tonight’s Program: The importance of invertebrate resources to waterfowl by Jay Bogiatto, California State University, Chico. A donation of $3 per adult is requested. Students with ID are free. More info: www.gatewayscience.org.
Organizations and Institutions with Good Ongoing Plant Education Programming: Sign up for their mailing lists to get information on Summer Camps and Events for School Aged Children
Chico Creek Nature Center in Bidwell Park Chico, CA – BUTTE COUNTY
Alice B. Heckert Native Plant Garden by Mt. Lassen Chapter CNPS 1968 east 8th Street, Chico 530-891-4671
CSU Chico Arboretum Chico, CA – BUTTE COUNTY
Dunsmuir Botanical Gardens Dunsmuir, CA – SISKIYOU COUNTY
Gateway Science Museum Chico, CA – BUTTE COUNTY
Exploring the Natural History of the North State with native, ecoregions-based landscapes. 525 Esplanade Avenue Chico, CA (530) 898-4121
Geffray’s Gardens/Creative Cacti and Succulents – BUTTE COUNTY
2790 Alamo Ave Chico, CA 95973 (530) 345-2849
Wonderful display cactus and succulent beds, they hold Open Days several times a year and by appt.
Genetic Resource and Conservation Center – Mendocino National Forest Chico, CA – BUTTE COUNTY
2451 Cramer Lane 9 – 5 Monday – Friday open to public. Trail guides available at park office.
The 209-acre Genetic Resource and Conservation Center was begun in 1917 as part of the U.S.D.A. Plant Introduction Station, the Center has been a site of advances in agriculture and tree improvement. Today, the Center is a key link in reforestation efforts.
The Little Red Hen Nursery in downtown Chico, 189 E. 8th Ave Chico CA 95928 (corner of 8th and Wall St • Downtown Chico) (530) 891-9100 Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm, Sat & Sun 9am – 3pm) provides numerous opportunities for children of ALL abilities to develop and nurture a passion for gardening. Classroom visits, scheduled volunteering and participation in Ability Grows, which meets twice a month at the nursery and the Park and Garden.
McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay Exploration Park Redding, CA – SHASTA COUNTY
840 Auditorium Drive, Redding, CA; tel: 800-877-8532.
Mt. Shasta Interpretive Garden: Highlighting Native Plants for Pollinators. Mt. Shasta , CA – SHASTA COUNTY
The new interpretive garden on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest features native plants for pollinators. Other highlights include food and cover for wildlife, fire dependent species, Northern California endemic plant species, and plants traditionally used by Native Americans in this area.
Sacramento River Discovery Center Garden Red Bluff, CA – TEHAMA COUNTY
1000 Sale Lane, Red Bluff, CA 96080 (530) 527-1196 | FAX (530) 527-1312
Shasta Community Teaching Garden Redding, CA – SHASTA COUNTY
1555 Old Oregon Trail • Redding, CA 96049-6006 • (530) 242-7500
Located on the campus of Shasta College, this pioneer teaching program is the effort of community volunteers and intends to serve the regional community as an exemplar of organic, regenerative and sustainable living, providing education toward improved understanding, both in theory and in practice, of the interrelatedness of all life — which by necessity will form the foundation for a truly sustainable future. Look for hands-on edible gardening classes, workshops and volunteer days!
Hope this resource guide helps you to get out and get the kids you care about GROWING! Happy Spring.
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In a North State Garden is a weekly Northstate Public Radio and web-based program celebrating the art, craft and science of home gardening in Northern California and made possible in part by the Gateway Science Museum – Exploring the Natural History of the North State and on the campus of CSU, Chico. In a North State Garden is conceived, written, photographed and hosted by Jennifer Jewell – all rights reserved jewellgarden.com. In A North State Garden airs on Northstate Public Radio Saturday mornings at 7:34 AM Pacific time and Sunday morning at 8:34 AM Pacific time. Podcasts of past shows are available here.