The winter planning sessions have finally paid off with the planting of the new teaching-gift garden established this spring at the Hoyleton Children’s Home in Hoyleton.
The garden will be used as a teaching garden to provide an outdoor classroom for the Children’s Home. Students will learn basic gardening skills as well as other subjects and activities like project planning, math, physical education and nutrition.
As the garden begins to produce the residents will be able to experience the fresh taste of home-grown local produce and understand where their food comes from and how it is produced. Some of the resident gardeners may try a vegetable they have never seen or tasted but are willing to because they had a hand in producing the crop.
While planting the garden, a young girl said, “I am going to eat more vegetables.”
And that was before the seed had even sprouted. She has already developed excitement for the harvest by being part of the planting.
Working in a garden is a great hobby and recreation for both young and old alike. Garden participants relax as they become tied to the food they eat.
The Hoyleton garden is 30’ by 70’ and includes many favorites like potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, radishes, cabbage and some less understood vegetables like eggplant and Chinese cabbage. Any additional produce that is produced will be donated to the area food pantry to help those in need.
University of Illinois Master Gardeners and the 4-H program have partnered with the students and staff of the Children’s Home to create this special garden. The garden is truly a community garden with many local people and businesses contributing to its success.
This garden would not have been possible if it weren’t for the many contributions that were made. Pastor Howard Self from Zion United Church of Christ Church, Hoyleton who tilled the garden and offered a blessing on planting day, Hoffman Seed House provided seeds and seed potatoes, Bonnie Plants donated the plants and Hoyleton Elevator donated the fertilizer.
Community residents assisted in the planting and students from Coulterville/Steelville High School Vocational Program constructed the fence and shed. In addition, the Washington County Master Gardeners have assisted in the planning and installation and the Illinois 4-H Foundation provided the grant to purchase hand tools for this project. The staff at the Children’s Home assisted students in planting, teaching and caring for the garden. Master Gardener Janet Klie of Hoyleton deserves special recognition for coordinating this project and arranging the donations.
If anyone is interested in learning more about this garden or Community Gardening please call Gail DeVilbiss at University of Illinois Extension at 618-526-4551
Hoyleton Children’s Home Plant Teaching Garden