University of Maryland Extension

Apprentice Gardens

Begun in 1998 as a demonstration garden, in 2001 the Apprentice Garden became a hands-on educational program to teach families about organic vegetable gardening in an environmentally safe and sustainable manner.

Eight families, including one or more children of any age, participate in the season-long program to learn garden planning, planting methods, weeding and watering strategies, harvesting, and garden closing procedures.

Please be aware that there is no shade in the garden area so a hat and water bottle arerecommended. Restroom facilities are near-by. The Apprentice Garden is reached via unpaved road surfaces which may be carefully navigated by a wheelchair.Families plant and maintain their individually assigned family plot, and all common areas, with the assistance of master gardeners. The project meets weekly from 6:30 pm to dusk from the first of April through September. Project participants are recruited through word-of-mouth and from families on the waitlist for community garden spaces at Kinder Farm Park.

Directions

The Apprentice Garden is located in Kinder Farm Park at 1001 Kinder Farm Park Road, Millersville, Maryland between Benfield Road and East-West Boulevard on Jumpers Hole Road.

When you enter the park from Jumpers Hole Road, proceed straight, past the gatehouse and continue to the Visitor’s Center parking area located on the left. The Community Gardens are found directly across from the parking lot, on the right. The Apprentice Garden is the first garden through the gates to the Kinder Farm community garden plots.

Restoring a Depression Era Farm
The Kinder Family, for whom the park is named, farmed what grew from the original 41 acres in 1898 to approximately 1,100 acres in 1940. The farm started exclusively as a truck farm, but after World War II the farm focused on cattle production.

At about this time, the Kinders began selling parcels of land for residential sites. In 1979, a 288-acre parcel was sold to Anne Arundel County (AA Co), which became the public Kinder Farm Park it is today. The park is designed to represent a typical working farm in Maryland during the 1930s depression era. The park not only contains the community gardens, but also houses farms animals raised by Anne Arundel County 4-H members, a blacksmith shop manned by guild members, a sawmill club whose members cut wood and make wooden products used at the park and elsewhere, and an antique tractor club.

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