The Master Gardener Program in Milwaukee County started in 1982. Over 1,025 people have been trained since that time, and there are currently 239 certified Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) for 2016. UWEX Consumer Horticulture Agent Sharon Morrisey facilitates the Program.
Garden Supports Families
The Secret Garden at Milwaukee’s Ronald McDonald House, supported by MGVs, provides a peaceful green space full of trees, shrubs, flowers, native Wisconsin plants, and an organic vegetable garden. Families are encouraged to pick the fresh vegetables for use in their cooking. Plants are labeled for identification. Updated sprinkler and lighting systems enable reliable crop production in raised beds. Gardening education programs provide interaction with visiting families.
Helping People Garden Throughout Their Lives
Although the Southeast Wisconsin MG Lifelong Gardening Committee doesn’t plant and harvest fresh produce, their work enables produce production across Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties and beyond. About 20 MGVs deliver 10- 12 demonstrations/programs annually using their extensive inventory of tools that help gardeners protect their joints, with a goal of helping people garden throughout their lives. Many tools are lightweight, telescoping tools that eliminate the need for bending and stooping.
Over 3550 Pounds of Fresh Produce Donated
The purpose of the Harvest for the Hungry Garden is to plant, raise, harvest, clean and deliver fresh produce to either the Wauwatosa Food Pantry or Hunger Task Force. This year MGVs donated 1,287 pounds of 14 different types of vegetables. During the 18 years this garden has been in existence it has donated more than 12,785 pounds (6 tons) of fresh vegetables. Between this garden and several others, over 3550 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetable were donated to area food pantries in 2015.