The Gardens at HCP, a local favourite gardening hot-spot, has brought back their popular Kids Garden Club for its third year.
Once a month, children of all ages (and their parents) are welcome to join the team at the gardens for a morning of learning and fun. “Our two hour sessions provide time to actively garden including weeding, seed starting, planting, harvesting and more,” says Youth Program Coordinator, Paula McCormick. “There is always something for take away including mini gardens, seeds and plants. Our participants are very enthusiastic about helping in the garden. Planting gets lots of attention, but even more popular is our regular visit around the garden to check on our crops and harvest,” she says. “We tend to graze our way around, sampling some favourites as well as experiencing first time samples.”
Activities are tailored seasonally and according to weather. On rainier days, the club carries on working indoors where they will start seeds, learn to propagate plants, build trellising, and more.
“We started in March with a group that have joined us monthly,” says McCormick. But there are still plenty of chances for kids to join in on the gardening fun. The club will run monthly until November, with the next sessions taking place September 8, October 6, and November 3.
There are also other youth activities run at the Gardens. “We have a variety of Youth Programs ranging from story times for parents and tots and their preschoolers to special interest workshops like tea brewing and terrarium making, a new series of science in the garden, special events. Even wandering the gardens with their families can be a way of connecting them with plants, their environment, nature, and more,” says McCormick. Enthusiastic participants can join the Junior Master Gardener Garden Club, and the gardens regularly host school visits.
Parents may even find they get just as much from the workshops as the kids do. “There is a lot of information sharing and questions from parents hoping to grow their own gardens or looking for methods to improve production, handle garden pests and disease, and other related gardening issues,” says McCormick.
“This club has taken on a life of its own by welcoming families to participate. Family learning can be a fun activity that takes the pressure off parents to ‘know it all’. More and more people are concerned about their food choices, and looking for better options for their family. Here, they learn and practice gardening while they grow together! A fun and nutritional activity that can teach skills and patterns of healthy eating that last a life time.”
Workshops cost $10.00 per session at the Gardens at HCP, 505 Quayle Road, Victoria.
For more information, visit hcp.ca