MaryJane's Farmgirl Sisterhood

Earning Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badges

Garden Gate

1. Bee Good to Your Mother Earth

Beginner Level

  • Grow a vegetable garden, even if it’s just one zucchini plant!
  • Don’t use any pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in your garden, or stop using them if you currently use them.
  • Research and use organic pest control.
  • If you already garden organically, help convert someone who doesn’t. But keep it playful and non-judgmental!
  • Read “Montrose: Life in a Garden” by Nancy Goodwin. (The book required for this badge is available on loan from MaryJanesFarm; contact library@maryjanesfarm.org.)

Intermediate Level

  • Research and then plant native plants in your garden or yard to attract bees and butterflies.
  • Maintain a complete habitat, including some sort of access to water, housing, and food for beneficial insects (remember, we need them for pollination).
  • If you have a lawn, convert a section of it into a permanent wildflower garden using species native to your area.
  • Learn to save a variety of wildflowers seeds and get them to sprout and grow. (This is more complicated than you think!)

Expert Level

  • One of the hidden places for pollution in your garden is your hose! Make sure that all of your hoses are of the lead-free type. Usually this is denoted by a “potable water” notation on the packaging.
  • If you have a fence and you paint it, switch to an environmentally safe paint product. Commercial paint is highly toxic and outgasses into our environment. Not to mention all those little paint chips that fall away as the paint ages.
  • Research and consider planting a living fence instead of a constructed one. Learn about a technique called “Pleaching.”
  • Take your family’s compost all the way from kitchen waste to soil again so that you end up with a total of 10 five-gallon buckets of new black soil. Think of it as money in the bank!

January, 2008 Edition