For our Youth plans an exciting year ahead

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Plants have best friends, just like people. Marigolds help tomatoes grow better by deterring insects, such as tomato worm, that would harm them. This is called companion planting.

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Leaders of the Ripley and District Horticultural Society’s “For Our Youth” youth club therefore chose “plant-buddies” or with a fancy word “cooperation” as their theme for 2022 when they gathered for their planning meeting on March 17. In attendance were Heather Newman, Melody Smillie and Tryntje Eisen.

Leader Melody Smillie was officially installed as a young leader by receiving the Ontario Horticultural Youth Leader pin.

The ideas began to flow as the leaders discovered the collection of “nature finds” donated to the club by Barbara Wallis and her late husband Charlie Wallis. This interesting collection includes feathers, eggshells, skeletons of different animals, rocks, to name a few.

It was decided that our first project would be planting marigold and tomato seeds in mini greenhouses that we had received from Smeltzer’s garden centre. However, Covid -19 took its toll with the April 9 in-person meeting, so the mini greenhouses became a continuation of our “letterbox” deliveries from last year. Instructions for this home grow project have been included and parental cooperation has been sought.

We can’t wait to see the results at our May 14 meeting at Melody Smillie’s. Some of the greenhouses will be on display at the May 18 Flower-Show at the Ripley Complex along with our decorated birdhouse gourds and last year’s “bunny ears” cacti. See Ripley@horticulture for more info on the show or call Ann at 519-395-4687.

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Any surplus plants from our mini greenhouses will be available at the Ripley’s Ladder Yard Sale on May 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Lewis Park Gazebo as a fundraiser for the FOY club.

Other activities planned for 2022 include a trip to the Mc Larty Study Area of ​​the Pine River Watershed in June and a visit to the Bruce Botanical Food Gardens in August where we hope to learn more about companion planting and cooperation.

Our club has reached the ceiling with 30 members aged 6 to 12 years old. We will encourage cooperation between age groups in the hope that they too will become plant friends by discovering the wonderful world around us together.

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