Indiana County 4-H members Abigail, Elizabeth and John Clark Bruner recently traveled to the National Junior Horticultural Association Convention in St. Louis.
They took part in workshops including leadership and hands-on grafting lessons. Tours included the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Gateway Arch and Baisch Skinner, the largest family-owned and -operated wholesale florist in the Midwest. Abigail won a Grand National Award in the 15- to 18-year-old division of Prepared Floral Arrangement with a pastel pink and white arrangement featuring snapdragons, Bakers fern and baby’s breath.
She also took the Grand National Award for a Prepared Horticulture Arrangement using no flowers with a design titled “Woodlands Edge.”
Elizabeth and John Clark competed in the Live Horticulture Arrangement division for 12- to 14-year-olds, where contestants were given 60 minutes and all the materials needed to create a live floral arrangement with a fall theme. Elizabeth won a national award for her design.
In the Top Chef contest, Abigail was the Grand National Award winner in fruits and vegetables with a pickled beets entry, and she placed as the National Award winner in jams and jellies with blueberry jam.
Abigail and Elizabeth did a team demonstration in the Use Division titled “Canning and Preserving of Fruit Spreads” and won the National Award.
In the Speaking of Horticulture contest Extemporaneous Division, Elizabeth won the National Award for an impromptu speech on tomatoes.
She also created displays for the Wildlife Leadership Academy based on the topics of white tail deer and ruffed grouse. John Clark and Elizabeth both competed in the Junior Horticulture Identification Division.
NJHA holds its convention during the first weekend of October at a different site each year. In 2019 it will be in Nebraska.
A diverse group of activities covering all areas of horticulture are offered.