March 29, 2011

10,000 Gardens Challenge Registers First 1,000 Gardens in Eight Days

Harrisburg gardener to receive $500 gift certificate to farm and home supply store.

Missourians wasted no time before registering their vegetable, flower, fruit and herb plots for the 10,000 Gardens Challenge, a program of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. In only eight days, just over 1,000 Missourians plotted their gardens and joined the initiative of growing fresh foods in their backyards and communities.

"It is outstanding to see the number of Missourians participating in this Challenge," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "The First Lady and I encourage everyone to spread the word about this great initiative. We want to see Missourians roll up their sleeves and get digging, whether in a community garden, church garden, school garden, an individual garden plot or even a potted patio garden."

Gov. Nixon, First Lady Nixon and the Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Jon Hagler were joined by Tractor Supply Company in supporting the 10,000 Garden Challenge at an event on March 18 in St. Louis. After every 1,000th garden is registered, a drawing will be held for a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company.

The first drawing was held this week, and entry #272, a gardener from Harrisburg, Mo., was selected randomly from the first 1,000 gardens registered.

The 10,000 Gardens Challenge encourages hobby and professional gardeners, rural and urban, alike to join in the effort to get 10,000 gardens growing across the state. Whether consumers are growing fruits, native plants, ornamental flowers or vegetables, they are encouraged to register and learn more about planting.

Missourians can register their gardens as individuals or as groups at The 10,000 Garden Challenge website offers helpful gardening resources, including tips on vegetable planting, calendars and health and nutrition facts.

To learn more about the 10,000 Garden Challenge, visit For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit