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Canadian County 4-H’er Kylee Detrick and 4-H club leader Kate Kearby pick yellow squash from Detrick’s garden, which will be donated to the Manna Pantry in Yukon. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Canadian County 4-H’er fills void at Yukon’s Manna Pantry

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Media Contact: Trisha Gedon | Communications Specialist | 405-744-3625 | trisha.gedon@okstate.edu

Canadian County 4-H’er Kylee Detrick not only has a green thumb; she also has a big heart. She has turned her 4-H gardening project into a way to help those who are less fortunate by donating the extra garden bounty to the Manna Pantry in Yukon, Oklahoma.

Detrick, 14, didn’t know a lot about gardening to begin with, but after working with and learning from her dad, Chad, they soon had a prolific garden growing with many garden favorites such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, watermelon, herbs and more.

“People like me and my family — we have what we need, but a lot of others don’t,” said Detrick, who is a member of the Yukon 4-H Club, CC Tuff Riders horse club and the Teen Leaders Club. “We started out with a small garden and it got bigger. We had been donating to friends and family, but my mom said we still had bags and bags of vegetables, so I decided to donate them to people who really needed it.” 

Sherri Rogers, director of the Manna Pantry in Yukon, said Detrick’s donations over the last two summers are greatly appreciated.

“Kylee definitely fills a void we have here at the pantry. We have a lot of canned and other foods, but we always like to give our clients healthier options,” Rogers said. “Any kind of produce we can offer is wonderful, especially when it’s homegrown.”

Along with helping to provide needed food items to clients, Rogers also offers tips on how to use the fresh produce.

“We like to visit with people to get an idea of what they need, and they’re always happy to get fresh vegetables,” Rogers said.

As much as she enjoys sharing her garden bounty with the community, Detrick also loves to share her gardening knowledge with others. Courtney Keck, Canadian County OSU Extension horticulture educator, was introduced to Detrick through Alexis Graham, Canadian County OSU Extension 4-H educator.

“Alexis reached out to me and said Kylee was interested in helping me with the Junior Master Gardener program. Kylee has been such a big help to me this summer,” Keck said. “The kids really relate to her, and she shares her knowledge in a way that’s on their level.”

Graham said Detrick is a wonderful role model for other 4-H’ers.

“She’s always been super eager to get involved in everything. She’s willing to lead workshops and wants to be involved in any way possible,” Graham said. “She’s involved in the 4-H summer camp as a staffer and does a fantastic job being a young leader. She definitely enjoys giving back and is always willing to step up.”

Detrick said gardening can be a lot of work, but she enjoys learning more about it. To help make weeding easier, she lays down black landscape cloth in the garden. Her family also takes advantage of the poultry waste produced by their chickens and incorporates it into the soil. The family’s horses get to take advantage of any vegetables that aren’t suitable for donating.

“It can be hard work, but it’s worth it. Homegrown tastes a lot better and I’m glad I can help those who need it,” she said.

To make donations to the Manna Pantry, contact Rogers at 405-265-0193.

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