AGRICULTURE

SDSU Extension Youth Gardening Grants & Seed Bank opened Jan. 15

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Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — The South Dakota School Garden Grant and SDSU Extension Seed Bank opened Jan. 15 to help support garden-based education projects in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Department of Health and SDSU Extension are pleased to announce the launch of the South Dakota School Garden Grant. This partnership will help newly starting school garden projects launch programs focused on growing and consuming fruits and vegetables.

This program provides K-12 schools with funding and development support to help them launch successful garden projects. Award winners will receive project coaching from SDSU Extension staff, 20 seed packets, and $1,000 for purchasing construction supplies, tools/equipment, plants and programming materials.

Applications and grant requirements become available on iGrowSDLocalFoods.org in the ‘Resource Library’ on Jan. 15. Applications are due Feb. 3, with award winners announced on Feb. 12.

Additionally, the SDSU Extension Seed Bank is offering 50 educational gardens up to 20 seed packets. The seeds are intended for educational gardens (new or established) in schools, learning centers, daycares, for 4-H or youth clubs, community gardens or other non-profit groups with educational garden programs (youth or adult) in the state of South Dakota.

Seed packets were donated from a number of individuals and businesses to assist with these types of gardening efforts. The seeds are packaged for the 2014 and 2013 growing season. The Extension Service is storing the seeds and coordinating the seed bank effort.

Qualified projects must include an educational component with at least 15 participants, meaning they must have a formal program where the garden is being utilized as a tool for teaching and learning. Seeds are given on a first-come, first-serve basis, based on application date. Applications will be accepted until Feb 28 or until 50 gardens are awarded packets.

To apply participants must complete the Seed Bank Application located on iGrow.org at iGrowSDLocalFoods.org in the ‘Resource library.’

Deliver or mail all application to the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls, at 2001 E. 8th St., Sioux Falls, SD 57103. Or email the applications to Christina Zdorovstov, SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist at Christina.Zdorovtsov@sdstate.edu. Participants must complete a short follow-up report to summarize participation and project impact.

If individuals are interested in donating seeds packaged for the 2014 growing season, contact Zdorovtsov at 605-782-3290 or Christina.Zdorovtsov@sdstate.edu . Unopened seed packets less than one year old are preferred.