CCEDC Saturday in the Garden – Harvesting Time

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County hosted Saturday in the Garden on September 29th, their third such event this year. The event is for families, adults and children, to gain hands-on experience working side by side with Master Gardener volunteers, using the demonstration gardens at the Farm and Home Center in Millbrook. Activities are tailored for each season, teaching adults various garden tasks and techniques while enabling  children to explore gardening, hands-on.

Registration tent

At this past Saturday’s event,  Master Gardener volunteers discussed with the adults the closing of the garden for winter, including the importance of tool care by showing the proper techniques of cleaning, sharpening, and repairing the garden tools at the end of the season. Since one of the key Fall gardening activities is bulb planting,  the adults were taught all about bulbs and bulb planting – the types, the lifecycle, the planting  depth, the tools, etc. – plus got a bonus of a few bulbs to take home and try their newly learned techniques. Based on the discussions, everyone had questions answered and all learned something new!

Above photo courtesy of Kathy Smith

During the Saturday in the Garden in June, the children planted Gold Rush potatoes and this past Saturday, they eagerly harvested the potatoes, digging up their treasure of gold!

The harvested potatoes and other produce (lots of beautiful gourds) were used to create Crazy Critters.

Left photo: courtesy of Joyce Tomaselli

The children used their extensive imaginations.

In preparation for cool weather, the children were taught about the birds that will visit the gardens in the winter – chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals, and many more.

Right photo: courtesy of Joyce Tomaselli.

They learned how to make simple bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter, and bird seed…taking home their bird feeders with a new understanding of their winter visitors.

In addition to taking home harvested potatoes, everyone was able to taste the freshly dug potatoes. Yellow and purple fingerling potatoes were also part of the tasting so a comparison could be made.

All 3 were delicious. The gold rush had a dry, fluffy texture while the 2 fingerlings (unfortunately I do not know the names) had waxy texture.

I also cut open red and blue potatoes, showing the children and adults the red and blue colors and the patterns inside. They were amazed!

Above 2 photos courtesy of Kathy Smith.

The ‘Joy of Cooking’ prevailed as I enticed one child to say he would take his potato home, put butter and salt on it, and try his very first potato.

Thank you Kathy Smith for helping me write the summary.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Resegrved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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24 Responses to CCEDC Saturday in the Garden – Harvesting Time

  1. Daphne says:

    I’m really bad about cleaning my tools for the winter. At least I have a shed now. At my last garden I didn’t and only put the tools in the garage for the winter. The rest of the time they were outside.

  2. Patsy says:

    You are so lucky to have such events in your area! I wish we had something like that going on here to educate and enthuse people about gardens!

  3. What a great way to involve everyone in the community for such a beneficial project 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. What a great event! You really have a strong gardening community there Norma – that is awesome 🙂

  5. Great looking event! I bet it’s fun to be in a gardening co-op!

  6. hotlyspiced says:

    Good on you Norma for sharing all your skills and experience with the community. It’s great that children were there to learn about how to grow things and have that hands on experience. It must have been a great day xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      It was a great day and everyone had a lot of fun. One little boy who refused to eat potato before this event was willing to take some home and give it a try, that alone made the whole event worth it.

  7. Norma, sounds like a great event, and how lovely to see photos of you in action! 🙂

  8. Eha says:

    What a wonderful idea and a great chance for children to join parents and be away from TV and video games. Learn something real too! Given the chance I think kids quite enjoy such opportunities: have just watched an episode of the food show ‘Two Greedy Italians’ where some Calabrian children were given the chance to hands on learn about old ‘Nonnas’ recipes for some quite messy dishes. The enthusiasm was palpable 🙂 !

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    This sounds like a great time for everyone involved, Norma. I know I certainly would have enjoyed attending — and I would have been able to meet you. That alone would have been worth the price of admission. 🙂

  10. Sophie33 says:

    What a lovely idea & what a lovely day for you all! Great tips & ideas too!

  11. Living up here in the North, we never have to overwinter our gardens, only move things around. I’d forgotten what gardening was like where things freeze. Brings back memories. I think helping people to garden is one of the best things someone can do.

  12. Kiran says:

    Sounds like an awesome event!! So nice to see you in photos 🙂

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