To celebrate the beginning of gardening season, TTJ had the opportunity to share the joy with some beginning gardeners. Eleven families whose children won their very own raised bed gardens through the Gro-Jericho kids’ essay/drawing contest received frames, stakes, soil, and other useful items just in time for planting.
The winners ranged in age from about just under six to just over thirteen. Their dreams and goals varied from standard northern vegetable crops like peas, carrots, and tomatoes to bed-filling items like sunflowers, squash, and corn. Some of the children wanted to grow flowers. One young man proposed filling his raised bed with “a billion percent dandelions” to help the bees.
Three members of the TTJ Steering Committee delivered the raised beds. What a joyful privilege that was! As we pulled in with a trailer full of soil and a van with their 4x6’ garden frames onboard, children raced out of their homes with eyes a shine, some of them jumping up and down with excitement while others retained a sophisticated demeanor of responsibility. This garden, they knew, would take a lot of care and work.
We got to see where the kids planned to place their gardens. Some spots had an expansive view. Others were tucked into cozy, sunny nooks. One bed would be placed by the family’s trampoline to make it easier to remember to tend it. The young gardeners explained where they’d get water and how they might protect their gardens from deer, bugs, and bunnies. Gardening requires a lot of adaptability. Conditions can change overnight. But the proud owners of these new raised beds have done their homework and they’re ready for the challenge. The TTJ website has already started receiving photos of children with big smiles and muddy hands, and gardens marked out with strings and row labels. It will be exciting to see how their gardens grow!
Wants to grow: Carrots, peas, corn, beans, tomatoes, pumpkins
Charlotte & Aiden-
Wants to grow: Carrots, cucumbers, green beans, and flowers
Hazen and Cally-
Wants to grow: crow carrots, cherry tomatoes, peppers, peas, cucumbers, basil, and other herbs like chives, parsley, thyme, oregano, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, and some flowers like Zinnias and sunflowers.
Wants to grow: Marigolds to keep pets away, pollinators to get butterflies and bees, bush beans my favorite vegetable, sunflowers they are so pretty, corn cus it is sweet and ground cherries the one tomato I like.
Daisy and Oliver -
Wants to grow: strawberries, flowers, basil , green beans, nasturtiums and spinach
Ziji and Audrey -
Wants to grow: carrots, pumpkins, snap peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, dino kale, and flowers
Wants to grow: Black Beauty, Pokedot Blend, roggil riesen, strawflower
Wants to grow: Snap peas, pumpkins, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, and lots and lots of flowers!
Jackson, Ronin and Bodhi White -
Wants to grow: I would grow roses, peas, sunflowers, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and pumpkins; 100000000% dandil lion, 4 seed packs dandil lions, tiger lily and peas; daffodils, carrots, irises, sungold tomatoes, peas,
Juniper and Oliver -
Want to grow: tomatoes, peas and corn