4-H Youth Grow for the Community at the Public Library Food Forest

Wakulla 4-H members started a Food Forest Garden at the Wakulla County Public Library in 2020.  Adult volunteers and youth volunteers embraced an outdoor activity with a purpose. The club studied permaculture and the layered garden concept characteristics of successful food forests. The group worked to transform a space next to the library building with trees, flowers, herbs, and berry-producing shrubs.  Youth members applied for a 4-H Community Grant to purchase and install rain barrels during summer 2021.

A Garden Reimagined

In 2022, University of Florida intern Johanna Walker accepted the task of redesigning and installing a refreshed Food Forest Garden. With generous community support that included cash donations along with in-kind donations of materials and labor, the project came to life.  The garden’s elements included a drip irrigation system, a wood mulch walking path, stone benches, raised beds, metal trellis and numerous plantings.  By July 2022, the Food Forest Garden was alive with pollinators and soon became a productive garden space.

Growing Food for the Community

Club leader Amanda Gruebel, with support from 4-H volunteer Karen Lucas, started holding regular 4-H club meetings in the garden in September 2022. The Food Forest Garden has started to yield enough herbs and produce to donate fresh items to the Wakulla Senior Center.  Senior patrons choose fresh items to take home from their visits to the Center.

Recipes Needed for Cookbook Project

The 4-H Food Forest and Gardening Club has partnered with the Friends of the Library on a project to produce a cookbook.  Recipes from the community are needed! Please send your recipes to be considered for publication to the following address:  friendswakullalibrary@gmail.com.

Proceeds from cookbook sales will benefit the Friends of the Library programs and the Food Forest Garden.  To become a club member or volunteer in the garden, contact Dr. Rachel Pienta at r.pienta@ufl.edu or call 850-926-3931.

schedule of meeting dates
All are welcome to help work in the Food Forest Garden at the Library!

Posted: June 9, 2023

Category: 4-H & Youth, Agriculture, Clubs & Volunteers, Community Volunteers, Crops, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE
Tags: 4-H, Cooking, Food Forest, Gardening, Grants, Rain Barrels, Youth

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