University of Maryland Extension

Grow It Eat It Growing Strong

2013 was a big year for the Grow It Eat It program and the vegetable and fruit loving Master Gardeners who power this program with support from HGIC faculty and staff-

  • 64,000 people read the GIEI blog and the total number of posts since 2009 is 850+. Many thanks to Erica Smith and the bloggers for contributing their time and talents and sharing gardening photos and tips, successes and failures we can all learn from, and loads of yummy recipes.
  • 105 classes and workshops taught in eight counties to 2300+ residents.
  • 185 Master Gardeners received advanced training in fruits, soils, organic gardening, intensive and small scale techniques, and plant & pest diagnostics.
  • 2013 was the “Year of Root Crops” and here’s an unusual Christmas tree decorated by Marie Birkle and other Washington Co. MGs! 

GIEI has helped thousands of residents to start and improve food gardens. Here’s a creative example of GIEI in action in Calvert Co.:

New Garden Teaches Kids and Fills Pantries

The UME Calvert Co. Master Gardener's Children's Garden project began in the spring of 2013 at the Anne Marie Sculpture Garden.  The goal was to assist a county wide program to increase fresh foods available to food pantries in Calvert County, and educate youth about vegetable gardening. Four raised beds were built and sited so they would not distract from the beauty of the formal sculpture garden area on the grounds. Master Gardeners taught 166 summer campers how to grow and harvest vegetables, manage pests organically, and eat a healthy diet.

Over 300 pounds of produce including tomatoes, squash, eggplant, lettuce, cauliflower, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and radishes was donated to SMILE, an ecumenical food pantry in the area.


So what’s new for 2014?

It’s the “Year of Cucurbits.” We’ll be covering a wide range of some well-known and novel members of this vegetable family in the blog, in MG classes, and on the GIEI website.

And don’t forget that August 8 is “Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day” (yes, a REAL holiday!)

100 Square Foot Garden Contest- we’ll be rolling out this fun event in February. It will be your chance to express yourself, your interests and skills and sharing photos and tips with your fellow gardeners. For beginners and old hands alike.

Want to start a school or community garden? GIEI has the faculty, staff, and resources to help you get started. See our GIEI Community Gardens page.  And as always- we can answer all your gardening and pest questions!

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