September 15, 2011

10,000 Garden Challenge Registers Garden Number 6,000

California gardener receives $500 gift certificate to farm and home supply store

Patty Addison of California, Mo. has been selected to receive the sixth $500 Tractor Supply Company gift card through her participation in the 10,000 Garden Challenge. The 10,000 Garden Challenge encourages all Missourians to get their hands dirty in the effort to get 10,000 gardens growing across the state.

"The 10,000 Garden Challenge is doing an outstanding job of highlighting the efforts of Missourians to provide fresh, nutritious food for themselves and their neighbors," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "The First Lady and I continue to see the momentum build with more gardeners getting on board to grow local produce, give a boost to the economy and support Missouri agriculture."

Addison currently grows over 500 square feet of vegetables in her garden, which includes "a little bit of everything," she said. She credits her grandparents with developing her love of gardening.

She preserves much of her produce - an activity she finds very rewarding. This year, Addison has canned over 70 quarts of salsa from five tomato varieties she purchased from Shirk's Country Market in Centertown, Mo.

Addison learned about the Challenge during her visit to the Missouri State Fair, and was the 5,399th gardener to register at She received a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company through her participation in the Challenge and will be featured on the 10,000 Garden Challenge website at

"The 10,000 Garden Challenge connects Missourians with agriculture, local foods, the outdoors and healthy eating and Addison serves as an excellent example of the opportunities found in growing your own produce and being involved in the local farmers' markets," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler.

The 10,000 Garden Challenge kicked off this spring with an announcement by Gov. Jay Nixon, First Lady Georganne Nixon and Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Dr. Jon Hagler encouraging Missourians to connect to agriculture by growing fresh produce, native plants and ornamental flowers in their backyards and communities. Since that time, over 6,000 Missouri gardeners have registered their plots in the 10,000 Garden Challenge. After every 1,000th garden is registered, a drawing is held for a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company.

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