Master Gardeners prepping for '14

Capital News Service
LANSING – Anita Callender’s garden is her refuge. “My garden is a Valium,” she said. “It is a tranquilizer. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
As the coordinator for the Western Wayne County Extension Office’s Master Gardner Volunteer Program, Callender is looking forward to January, which marks the program’s 35th year in Michigan – and another year for her to pass on her love of gardening. The Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a gardening and horticulture education program across the U.S. and Canada, for people of all ages and experience levels.

Garden projects bring sense of community back to Lansing

East Lansing Farmer’s Market shoppers found great bargains from local vendors on fancy eggplant, zucchini, gourds and squash. By Jenny Kalish
Lansing Star staff writer
In lower income cities like Lansing or Detroit, the availability of healthy food is greatly reduced due to the lack of education, resources, and the overpricing of local, organic food. Over the past few years, however, non-profit organizations in Lansing have used health and nutrition initiatives, farmers’ markets, educational events and urban gardening to solve those issues while getting the community excited about growing healthy food locally. “There’s a lot of convenience stores, liquor stores, and places with snack foods, but the grocery stores are kind of restricted in certain areas of Lansing.” said Carrie Burns, the AmeriCorps Urban Gardens Coordinator for the South Lansing Community Development Association. The association is one of many non-profit organizations based in Lansing with the goals of providing lower-income families with opportunities to eat healthy local food while educating them about gardening and nutrition.