Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, United States; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA, United States.

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Dirty Hands Garden – Goochland

This project is a joint venture between the Goochland-Powhatan Master Gardeners and the horticulture department of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College – Goochland Campus. Its main purpose is to provide educational outreach programs for our community with the added benefit of offering learning experiences for the garden volunteers.

The college boasts formal landscaped areas and ornamental gardens which include a wide variety of perennials, trees and shrubs, seasonally planted garden beds, a rain garden, an herb garden, and a conifer garden. The extensive gardens at the college are used as teaching tools. Additionally, sustainable and organic teaching vegetable gardens donate produce to the Goochland Food Pantry.

Working under the direction of Reynolds Agriculture Specialist Karin Stretchko and senior MGs volunteers, volunteers (MGs and community members), assist with the development and installation of new garden areas as well as the maintenance of existing ones.

During the winter months, this project grows the plants for the GPMGA Plant Sale at Spring Garden Fest in April. Volunteers learn proper techniques for starting, maintaining, and grooming healthy plants for sale to the public. 

Throughout the year, project participants plan and present educational sessions for community gardeners. Each session focuses on gardening issues and practices related to that particular season. The format for these presentations varies between classroom presentations and hands-on workshops. During the weekly work sessions volunteers also learn from the experiences of other volunteers and from the college staff.

Volunteers work on Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and are welcome on as many Wednesdays as they would like for as little or as long as they would like. The group can be found in and around the gardens and greenhouses on the far left side of the college’s main building.

So, come out and join in on the fun while learning and teaching – you can get a little education, do a little gardening, and best of all get your hands dirty!!

For more information contact