Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Scouts in the garden

Hoorah! At my son's last Scout meeting, two young men came up to me and asked if I would be their counselor for the Gardening merit badge! It's not a frequent request, not when there are Eagle-required badges to be earned, and more glamorous subjects, like snow sports or whitewater rafting, to choose from. But I've got a couple of budding green thumbs in khaki ready to give it a go. Here's what they'll be up to:


Do the following:
  1. Grow six vegetables, three from seeds and three from seedlings, through harvesting.
  2. Grow six flowers, three from seeds and three from seedlings, through flowering.
  3. Give the food value of the following:
    1. Three root or tuber crops.
    1. Three vegetables that bear above the ground.
    1. Three fruits.
  4. Test 100 garden seeds for germination. Determine the percentage of seeds that germinate. Explain why you think some did not germinate.
  5. Visit your county extension agent’s office, local university agricultural college, nursery, or a botanical garden or arboretum. Report on what you learned.
  6. Identify five garden pests (insects, diseased plants). Recommend two solutions for each pest. At least one of the two solutions must be an organic method.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Build a compost bin and maintain it for 90 days.
    1. Build a vermipost bin (worm compost bin) and maintain it for 90 days.
    1. Build a hydroponic garden containing three vegetables or herbs, or three ornamental plants. Maintain this garden through harvest or flowering, or for 90 days.
    1. Build one water garden, either in a container (at least 12 by 6 inches and 6 inches deep), or in the ground as a small, decorative pond no larger than 6 by 3 feet and 24 inches deep. Maintain the water garden for 90 days.
Sounds like fun. Now if I can get my own boy to give the badge a try. So far he says, "No, Mom, gardening is your thing."

(Requirements and image from: http://www.usscouts.org/mb/mb055.html)

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