Youth, Family, & Communities
Kansas | K-State Research and Extension | North Central Region
Kansas State University is helping Kansas gardeners produce safe and abundant foods for their communities.
Individuals and families are taking up vegetable, fruit, or herb gardening to improve their diets, trim grocery budgets, or gain an enjoyable hobby. A number of new community gardens have been established in Kansas to provide access to the benefits of gardening and locally grown food. Beginning gardeners struggle with weather, insects and disease, and poor soil conditions.
K-State Research and Extension agents conducted classes and workshops to teach basic gardening skills to youth and adults. Local units used demonstration gardens to show new varieties and recommended gardening practices for home growers. As community gardens have grown and expanded, agents have provided leadership and expertise to garden organizers. In many communities, Extension Master Gardeners lead and mentor new gardeners. More than 110 farmers markets operate in Kansas. Agents and specialists from K-State Research and Extension play a key role in developing these markets. They provide expertise to growers who sell directly to consumers by offering one-on-one consultations, classes, workshops, and conferences.
In 2013, 25,000 pounds of fresh produce was donated in local communities as a resulting of local gardening activity. K-State Research and Extension agents also reported increased production at local farmers markets, and growers have incorporated such new methods as tomato grafting.