Providence Center Partners with First Lady Katie O'Malley's "Grow It Eat It" Garden, Provides and Plants Summer Vegetable Seedlings
ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 11, 2010) –With summer gardening underway, the University of Maryland Master Gardeners along with individuals involved with the Providence Center, Inc.’s Horticulture Program today planted summer vegetable seedlings in First Lady Katie O’Malley’s Grow It Eat It garden. The plants were grown by clients of Providence Center through the organization’s Horticulture Program located in Anne Arundel County.
“This exciting and unique partnership highlights the services the Providence Center provides and links them with the State’s backyard food gardening promotion,” said First Lady O’Malley. “We look forward to growing out the seedlings and expanding the garden offerings as an example of what all Marylanders can do whether they have a patio with planters or a larger backyard garden to improve their health and fitness and to better understand how food is grown.”
Providence Center clients, University of Maryland Extension’s Master Gardeners and Maryland Department of Agriculture staff joined together to put in a variety of vegetable plants including tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, summer squash, herbs and beans. The seedlings were grown by Providence Center clients in their four greenhouse facilities. Plants grown by the Providence Center are available for sale as part of the job training program.
First Lady O’Malley is partnering with University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center and Master Gardeners to promote the “Grow It Eat It, campaign” which encourages Maryland families to improve health and save money by growing fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs using sustainable practices. The campaign hopes to encourage 1 million Marylanders to produce their own affordable, healthy food. More information on the campaign and the University of Maryland’s Master Gardener program can be found at www.growit.umd.edu.
Last year, Maryland became one of the first states, if not the first state in the nation, to have a backyard food garden at the Governor’s home. The vegetable garden sets a realistic example of what Maryland families can do in their own backyards. This year, the program has expanded to include a gardening lecture series and a honey bee colony.
The Providence Center, Inc. provides services that allow individuals with disabilities to enjoy increased self-determination in leading a more independent, valuable and functioning role in society. For more information about the center’s facilities, visit www.providencecenter.com.
For more information about the First Lady’s garden and lecture series visit www.firstlady.maryland.gov.