Junior Master Gardeners take a 10-week course | Community

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By Abby Whitt | Editor

The inaugural class of Junior Master Gardeners graduated this week and demonstrated what they learned in a ceremony at the Jessie Peterman Memorial Library.

Before receiving their certificates Aug. 22, the class learned about careers in horticulture through an activity by Virginia Cooperative Extension Officer Wendy Silverman.

Students randomly selected career cards and read aloud the duties, education requirements and salaries of each job.

Then they reflected on their own careers in horticulture, which included work at Slaughter’s Garden Center, Lichen or Knot, and Christmas tree farms.

Over the past 10 weeks, students in the class have learned about the parts of plants, including those that bear fruits and vegetables, and the benefits of gardening for the environment and people.

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Literature in the Garden combined learning about plants with books from the library, and students had the opportunity to lend a hand in the sensory garden.

Each of the 11 graduates has regularly completed the Junior Master Gardener program and explained why they love gardening by accepting their degree.

Several said that gardening makes the world more beautiful, and Rowan Vidovic highlighted the importance of plants for pollinators.

Oscar Upson said seeing plants he cared for “makes me proud and happy – and it’s fun”.

Samuel and Luke Spencer said growing your own fruits and vegetables can help you save money.

“…and without vegetables like garlic and peppers, salsa wouldn’t exist,” Luke said.

Master Gardeners Becky Howell and Rona Vrooman worked with the students throughout the program, and Vrooman introduced them to several different flavors of infused water.

Blueberry and Mint on August 22 was a hit with the graduating class.

Howell said she hopes to lead another Junior Master Gardener program next year.

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