Beauregard Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens Closing
by Ms. Emily Shirley, President, Beauregard Parish Master Gardeners
I almost started this paragraph with “On a sad note…” but I corrected myself – it is not on a sad note, it is on a note of appreciation and thankfulness. There was so much that was accomplished, good times, sharing, and lots of learning that too place in the Demo Gardens. Last month the Beauregard Master Gardeners made the decision to close the Demonstration Gardens that have been in existence for approximately five years. This was a wonderful and successful project and now we are ready to move on to other projects.
There are so many of you to thank and recognize for the work that you did, as well as the time, money, and energy you spent to make this project so successful, I can’t begin to name everyone. We have money in our account at this time because you so willing to spend your own personal money to pay for things in the gardens. I want you to know that that has not gone unnoticed. There are a few that spent a considerable amount of time and personal money and I do want to publically acknowledge them.
George and Merlyn Giltner spent so much in terms of money and time that I cannot begin to list all the things they did or all the things they paid for. There were times when it was so hot and some days when it was so wet and ugly, but you could pass by the gardens and you would see George and Merlyn out there working. On those hot days when things needed to be watered every day, we could always know that things were being taken care of because George and Merlyn would be there to water things.
The same goes for John Markham. I even joked one time that I really thought John was living the potting shed in the Demo Gardens and had not informed any of us. He was there almost every day working and taking care of things. Not only did John oversee the installation of the irrigation system, I never worried about the system in the winter time because I knew John would take care of it. The same for the raised beds. John was always around to plant, fertilize, water and harvest the vegetables. John and Dale Vincent raised some beautiful corn that we were able to sell at the Farmer’s Market and made money for future projects.
Jimmy Cooley installed an awesome Muscadine orchard and showed us all how it is done and what materials to use. It was a wonderful teaching project and we so appreciate all the time, money and energy that went into that project.
Chris Krygowski came along just as we were all talking about a Children’s Garden. She not only volunteered to help with this project, she agreed to head up this project and made it into something the rest of only dreamed of. We all have commented on the energy Chris seemed to always have and the number of hours she spent making that area into what it is.
Dana Whittington took over an area of the garden that was difficult to garden for a number of reasons, but she certainly showed us that it can be done — if you have a difficult area you can always garden in containers. In addition to the onions, garlic in the ground, she demonstrated how to grow purple potatoes and carrots in containers. I harvested some of her onions and carrots for a wonderful soup one day last year. Fresh from the ground is always good!
Allen Wells demonstrated how to grow vertically with his “Arbor Garden”. His use of cow-pen panels is a unique way to have things growing overhead while other plants in-ground below.
And who can forget John Hendrix’s okra – we thought he had some type “Jack-And-The-Beanstalk” type okra out there. And he harvested okra right into the fall.
Shirley Corda spent a considerable amount of time helping us get our Five-Year-Plan on paper to be presented to the Fair Board.
Keith Hawkins has been our MG Coordinator from the beginning and we appreciate what he has done for this program. And to ALL the others not mentioned above, THANK YOU for all your contributions of time, money and sweat equity. A job well done!
Ms. Emily Shirley is a Master Gardener in Beauregard Parish. She also publishes the BEAUREGARD MASTER GARDENER NEWSLETTER.