Kids Grow Green Sioux FallsMar 19, 2014 ● By Hood Magazine
Photo courtesy of Ann Louisa Photography
What is Kids Grow Green Sioux Falls?
Kids Grow Green Sioux Falls is a project and event where my friends and I grow tomato plants from seeds and sell them at the Sioux Empire Farmers Market on May 3rd to raise money for green causes.
Where did the idea come from for Kids Grown Green?
I wanted to have a lemonade stand at the Kingswood Rummage when I was six, but my mom told me no and to think of another idea for the next year. I decided to grow tomato plants to sell when I was seven. I had so much fun growing and selling and donating some of the money, I wanted my friends to do it with me the next year and try to make a bigger difference.
What was your favorite part of running your plant stand?
I liked selling to the people. It was fun to talk to people about my plants, and they liked to talk about their gardens, too. I met a lot of people. Even if they didn't buy, many stopped to check things out and talk about my plants, which was fun.
What are your favorite plants to grow? Why?
I have a house plant, a little tree, that is in my room. It is my favorite. In the garden, I like planting giant sunflowers the best because they grow from a seed to taller than my dad in one summer, and they also feed the birds and squirrels in the fall.
When did you decide to expand Kids Grow Green?
At the end of the rummage sales last year, I had enough extra tomato plants to share with my class and teachers. The idea came the day before I gave them the plants. I told them what I did and how to take care of and plant their plants and asked if they might want to do it with me the next year.
How did you put your idea into action?
We had to call and talk to a lot of people, and I had to tell them about my idea. Those people had more and more ideas of even more people to talk to for help, so we talked to more people. If you want to know about all the people we talked to, you can read my blog from the beginning.
Why did you decide to donate your profits to green causes?
We decided to help others with their green projects just like others helped us with ours. We chose to help Ground Works put in learning gardens at other local schools because it is cool that, by growing our plants, we can help other kids learn about and grow healthy plants and food. We also want to help plant a tree at the new Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum, which will be a place where others can learn ways to help the environment. Everyone has a way they can help the environment. We are still currently trying to decide on our third green cause we want to help.
How have your school, teachers, and classmates supported you and your project?
My teacher and principal were excited about how much we could learn from the project, so they let me kick off the project and do our seed planting at school with a local Master Gardener. Then my classmates took their plants home to grow with blog posts to guide them on what to do each step of the way. My classmates also get to help with decisions, publicity, and events. It's their project, too, not just mine.
How can other kids participate?
We planted our seeds at the beginning of March, but all the steps to grow tomatoes will be on our blog if you want to grow your own. Growing your own plants helps the environment! So in a way you are helping our green cause. You could even grow your own plants to sell at a stand of your own outside your house.
What advice do you have for other kids who want put their ideas into action?
I know it sounds like the cat poster from the Lego movie, but "Believe" you can do it and keep asking. You also have to be ready to keep working. I even had to talk my mom into the idea again at the beginning of this year – she thought I forgot about it. Things take a long time to plan, and some people are not ready to listen to kids. Sometimes it's a lot of work.
To follow our project start to finish, visit our blog at www.kidsgrowgreensiouxfalls.blogspot.com.
We want to thank all of our supporters: KSFY, ‘Hood Magazine, Sioux Empire Farmers Market, Washington Pavilion, Minnehaha Master Gardeners, Watermelon Magic, Ground Works, and Mary Jo Arboretum.