Flagler and Lake Counties Receive 2020 Master Gardener Legacy Fund
The Master Gardener Legacy Fund was created to provide financial support for outstanding Master Gardener Volunteer projects.
Counties apply annually to receive grants for new or continuing educational projects.Two county Master Gardener Volunteer programs were awarded this year, from Flagler and Lake counties. 2021 winners will be announced this fall.
Flagler County Seed-of-Life Garden
Flagler County's increasing population density calls for innovative techniques for growing food in smaller spaces. Flagler MGVs are using their Legacy Fund award to expand and revitalize their teaching gardens. The "Seed-of-Life Garden" will contain edible fruits, vegetables, and herbs along with plants that have commercial and medicinal value. Interpretive signage will provide information on growing food and healthy dietary choices — perfect for teaching a seed-to-table program.
The space will also feature a Childrens Edible Garden and a unique pathway showcasing past, present, and future gardening approaches, culminating in vertical hydroponics. It will be wheelchair accessible and MGVs will work with community experts for historical accuracy and kid-friendliness, with plans to add an outdoor classroom in the future.
Lake County Honey Bee Garden
Lake County MGVs are busy bees! Discovery Gardens is located at the UF/IFAS Lake County Extension in Tavares, Florida. Built in 1994, these twenty-four themed demonstration gardens (over 3.5 acres) are open to the public with an annual visitation exceeding 3,000 visitors. The gardens showcase the diversity of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) with native plants found to thrive throughout Central Florida.
Within the gardens, the Horticulture Learning Center is an on-site classroom that facilitates the Lake County MGV program's mission to teach FFL principles. With the 2020 Legacy Fund grant, they will now offer an an apiary.
In partnership with the Lake County Beekeepers, their project is an apiary demonstration program within Discovery Gardens that teaches residents about honey bees.
The goal is to raise public awareness of the importance of bees by letting visitors observe the bees at work. Visitors can also sign up to learn basic beekeeping practices and honey extraction.
Lake County MGVs plan to double their current number of four hives and create a portable observation hive for outreach presentations. Sale of honey from the garden will help support future maintenance and supplies.