This special award was presented in recognition and appreciation for the group’s inspiring and beautiful contributions to the Canton Community.
Established in 2010, the Canton Farmers Market Master Gardeners Group was created to provide free education and resources for Canton Residents and amateur gardeners of all ages. These dedicated volunteers regularly provide materials and conduct workshops and demonstrations at the Canton Farmers Market, where they also diagnose plant and pest problems, hold plant exchange programs, and answer gardening questions. In addition, the Canton Farmers Market Master Gardeners annually plant, tend, and harvest a large co-op garden on the grounds of Preservation Park and donate the resulting produce to a local Domestic Violence Shelter for women and children.
“This is a great honor for all of our Master Gardeners to be recognized for helping to make Canton a more beautiful place with their green thumbs and their huge hearts,” said Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Provenzano. “These committed volunteers continue to inspire us with their dedication to the environment and to the people of Canton.”
Throughout the growing season, this group also oversees Canton’s 40 community garden plots by volunteering their expertise and assistance. In addition, these Master Gardeners have developed special garden plots at various locations throughout the Canton community, including special educational and therapeutic spaces such as: a preschool Sunflower garden; a sensory garden for Camp A.B.L.E., a summer camp for area children with disabilities; and a butterfly garden, which provides sensory outdoor experiences for area adults with disabilities.
The Canton Farmers Market Master Gardener Group consists of: Deirdre Hope (Group Leader), Angie Cusac, Anna Covach, Asha Carvalho, Carolyn Baetz, Cindy Haas, Dennis Standiford, Don Wellman, Gary Oswell, Jane Murphy, Julie Wellman, Kim Sanders, Luann Davis, Barb Johnson, Pat Johnson, Rona Wheeler.
The fact that this group of volunteers has become a regular feature of the Canton Farmers Market is a point of pride for Market Manger Tina Lloyd.
“It means a lot to us to be recognized by our peers for the hard work that this group selflessly provides week in and week out during the market season,” said Market Manger Tina Lloyd. “It is important for our market-goers to have a memorable experience and having experts of this magnitude available to answer a wide spectrum of gardening questions is another great service that we are thankful to provide.”
To become a master gardener, individuals must complete extensive college level courses, including biology, chemistry, and botany. After being granted the master gardener title, these garden experts are also required to complete continuing education classes each year and must volunteer in areas where they can promote environmentally responsible and sustainable horticultural practices for the home and throughout the community.
To learn more about this award-winning service group, visit www.cantonfun.org or call 734/394-5460.