Kitchen Gardens is an Upcoming Topic at the Museum

Everyone who is interested in raising a small garden this year will find a program titled “How to Raise a Kitchen Garden” to be an opportunity to learn how to produce fresh food for the table. The information will be applicable for both beginners and experienced herb and vegetable gardeners. A partnership between Old Independence Regional Museum and the Independence County Master Gardeners is bringing this program to the public.

“Our job as Master Gardeners is to beautify and educate. We want everyone to feel confident that they can grow something,” said Laura Reed, president of the organization. “We are proud to be partnering with the museum to provide this program to the public at the museum on Sunday, May 18th at 2 p.m.”

Tina Marie Wilcox will be the presenter. She has been the head gardener and herbalist at the Ozark Folk Center’s Heritage Herb Garden in Mountain View, Arkansas since 1984. She is a park interpreter, coordinates annual herb events and facilitates the production of herb-related products. She writes a weekly herb and garden column entitled “Yarb Tales” and has co-authored the reference book, The Creative Herbal Home.

“My philosophy is based upon experiencing the joy of the process, perpetrating no harm, and understanding life through play with plants and people,” Wilcox stated. “During this program I will explain how to raise a kitchen garden from scratch.”

Participants will learn how to prepare the soil using organic amendments and why. They will see how to make super compost, how to finish the beds with appropriate mulch, and what to plant in a garden for year around interest and usefulness.

Most gardeners know that fresh vegetables, prepared just minutes after harvest, possess incomparable flavor and superior nutrition. Wilcox will add another advantage to kitchen gardening. “You can raise and cut edible flowers and herbs to season and decorate beverages, foods, and tables to make every day a special occasion.”

Reed stated, “I think Tina Wilcox will inspire and encourage the audience to go home and start planting and harvesting!”

The program will be free and open to the public. Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children. The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff. Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.