Plants summer vegetable seedlings with Cedar Chapel Special School and University of Maryland Master Gardeners
ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 4, 2011) – With summer gardening underway, the University of Maryland Master Gardeners along with Agriculture Deputy Secretary Mary Ellen Setting and more than a dozen students from Cedar Chapel Special School today planted summer vegetable seedlings in First Lady Katie O’Malley’s “Grow It Eat It” garden. The plants were grown by the students in their school greenhouse with seeds purchased by the Anne Arundel County Master Gardeners.
“Backyard gardening teaches young people the value of the work it takes to grow something, the perseverance to see it through to harvest, and the joy of tasting something delicious that they grew themselves,” said First Lady O’Malley. “We look forward to growing out the seedlings and expanding the garden offerings as an example of what all Marylanders can do whether they have a patio with planters or a larger backyard garden to improve their health and fitness and to being a part of the State’s backyard gardening promotion.”
The First Lady, Cedar Chapel students, Deputy Secretary Setting, University of Maryland Dr. Nick Place, and University of Maryland Extension’s Master Gardeners joined together to put in a variety of vegetable plants including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, swiss chard, and herbs. Additionally, Sue Langley, beekeeper for the Government House bee hive, talked about raising bees for honey. Now, in its second year of production, the Government House hive will be harvested for honey this summer for the first time.
First Lady O’Malley is partnering with University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center and Master Gardeners to promote the “Grow It Eat It campaign” which encourages Maryland families to improve health and save money by growing fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs using sustainable practices. The campaign hopes to encourage 1 million Marylanders to produce their own affordable, healthy food. More information on the campaign and the University of Maryland’s Master Gardener program can be found at www.growit.umd.edu. The web site also provides a blog and list of vegetable gardening classes and events by county.
Maryland is one of the first states in the nation to have a backyard food garden at the Governor’s home. The vegetable garden sets a realistic example of what Maryland families can do in their own backyards.
Cedar Chapel Special School is a unique, alternative learning environment, located in Snow Hill (Worcester County). The school prepares students with moderate and severe disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 to be included in regular schools, to be gainfully employed, and to be self-sufficient at home and in their community. www.cedarchapel.org
At the event, the First Lady also announced that the signature kick-off event for the statewide Buy Local Challenge Week (July 23-31) will be held at Government House on July 21. The campaign encourages all Marylanders to eat at least one local product each day of the week.