Seedling of a Program Now Blooming


It’s safe to say the new Chadwick 4-H club—Green-N-A—is a growing program, as it approaches the close of its first year.

“The kids came up with the motto, ‘Think outside the bark,’” said Dawn Phillips Simon, club sponsor.

“We started in August and by the end we had 500 plants,” Simon said. “ We had to transfer them into different pots three different times.”

The club’s name Green-N-A—like DNA—reflects its specialized efforts in horticulture, utilizing the Chadwick School District’s sizable greenhouse, which the group shares with the high school FFA.

The club received a $1,200 grant to build planter boxes for the spring.

“Part of the grant money is to be used raising seed to flower to beautify the area,” Simon said.

The group, which has 57 members, donated 100 plants to Forsyth Middle School, Taneyville and the Forsyth Nursing home.

“It’s good citizenship, while teaching them life skills. These kids are giving back to the community,” Simon said. “They learn how to work together as a group and express their ideas, and articulate those ideas so others can understand them.”

Because 4-H groups across the county specialize in different areas, members are able to gain a broad range of experience all the while interacting with those from other places.

“What happens in Chadwick, might not be the same type of activities that occur in Nixa,” said Simon said.

Also part of the Chadwick program is a butterfly garden that began with the planting of milkweed, said University of Missouri Extension 4H and Youth Development coordinator Kathy Workman.

“Originally, I took them some milkweed to get them started with the butterfly garden,” Workman said. “And milkweed can sometimes be a tough plant to grow, and nearly every one of the plants survived.”

Workman said the group in Chadwick has thrived since launching in December of 2012.

“At the end of the growing season I know they were able to grow enough greens to have a salad bar,” Workman said. ”They could hardly contain themselves when everyone was going through eating.”

Kids were involved year round, caring for plants during even the hottest times of the summer, said Simon.

The club grew sunflowers, tomatoes, nasturtiums, cucumbers, greens, peppers and a variety of other fruit and vegetables.

All of which were grown from seeds donated from Bakers and Orschelns.

There are numerous workshop opportunities to get involved with 4-H said Workman, including cake decorating, livestock tending, gun and hunter safety.

via Aaron Hadlow, Christian County Headliner