November 2010
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Locust Fork HS JMG Club Grows Confidence and Pride


The Locust Fork High School JMG group meeting last spring went out looking for caterpillars.

Congratulations to the Locust Fork High School’s JMG Club for being the November group of the month. Started in 2007, the club has 52 members, mostly 7th and 8th graders, who said belonging to the club has given them the confidence to garden in their own yards. The club is led by three teachers from the Locust Fork High School, Ms. Sherry Brewer, Ms. Mary Mathews and Ms. Natricia Case. All three of these teachers have completed the Master Gardener program through their local county Extension office. The JMG leaders have stated the JMG participants take more pride in their school and are able to experience the love of gardening and the outdoors.


Left, the group paints broken shovels and uses them for signs in the garden; and, above, group members made this sign from an old shovel and placed it in the Outdoor Classroom.


The club meets monthly during school activity days, but Ms. Brewer, teacher and JMG Club leader, actively involves her 7th and 8th grade English and reading classes in Outdoor Classroom activities incorporating gardening and nature themes into her curriculum. She, of course, gives her JMG members special treatment, allowing them first shot at digging, planting and "the fun work." The club gets school and community kudos for their work around campus. The club revitalized, planted and maintained a memorial garden around the flagpole, as well as maintaining the front entrance perennial beds and planters.


During the first club meeting this year, the members built scarecrows for the garden. This group of girls is displaying their scarecrow.

With grant money, the club also updated and added to the school’s butterfly garden and six raised beds. In past club meetings, members have created toad abodes, painted flat rocks, created homemade Chia Pets, made scarecrows, had presentations from county Extension agents, learned about "Green-Recycling," grew plants from seeds, transplanted plants, sold plants they grew and have participated in JMG curriculum. Members love to volunteer helping Ms. Mathews and Ms. Case with watering schedules, weed pulling, planting and various garden tasks throughout the week.


"In today’s world, we have to be creative to incorporate gardening into all curriculums. Kids love going outside and making something grow," stated Ms. Brewer. "I treat JMG Club as an opportunity for kids to belong, to learn to work together and to learn skills they will take with them throughout their lives."

Luci Davis is the State Junior Master Gardener Coordinator. For more information on the program, phone (334) 703-7509.

Left, Joseph Parsons helped harvest the watermelons the 7th grade classes grew. The classes enjoyed eating the melons which had yellow meat...many of the kids had never seen a watermelon with yellow insides.