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Kids Grow Club Growing like Mad!

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The KJidplanting demonstration.

The Kid’s Grow Club watching a planting demonstration.

Last week the Van Putte Gardens Kids Grow Club had their annual spring meeting, which actually turned out to be TWO meetings!  Apparently this year’s cold, long winter had everyone in the mood to get out and start spring activities; we had over 70 kids attend the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. meetings.

Our general manager showing his grandson some cool facts about seeds!

Our general manager showing his grandson some cool facts about seeds!

Mother Nature didn’t want to cooperate with our spring fever, and provided us a pretty overcast, chilly day.  There were even snow flurries in the morning!  So last minute, we moved the meeting set-up into our much-warmer Bay House, which is normally closed to the public at this time of year since we fill it with our growing plants.  After clearing off a couple of tables and warning the taller parents to watch their heads (we’ve got hundreds of hanging baskets hanging every which way at this time of year!), we were ready to get going.

All the mini-Green Thumbs loved the interactive seed demonstration table, with fun facts and interesting seeds they could touch and examine.

The interactive seed demonstration table.

The interactive seed demonstration table.

A mini-Green Thumb ever-so-carefully planting a seedling.

A mini-Green Thumb ever-so-carefully planting a seedling.

Then they took a tour of the Bay House, where they saw all sorts of flower and vegetable seedlings, learned how to pinch dahlias, got a demonstration of how to plant a hanging flower bag pouch, and ended up planting their own planter with a variety of different seedlings.

The planters from both meetings will be on display all year so the kids and everyone else can enjoy the blooms all season!

After the tour, demonstration, and planting, it was time for the craft portion of the meeting.  To go along with the germination theme, the kids made their own seed tapes.

Seed tapes are created in order to plant very tiny seeds, evenly spaced.  In the past, farmers spent the winter months creating seed tapes so that they could get planting right away once the weather broke, as well as not waste seed by overplanting.  We made our seed tapes out of easily-found household materials — strips of toilet paper and a paste made of just flour and water!

A Grow Club member very carefully placing seeds onto his paste dots on a seed tape.

A Grow Club member very carefully placing seeds onto his paste dots on a seed tape.

The kids made seed tapes for organic “Buttercrunch” lettuce, organic “Danvers Half Long” carrots, and “Liliput” zinnia flowers.  They took the tapes home and put them in the fridge, and will be all ready to plant on Memorial Day weekend!

Our next meeting is August 16 at the Greece Public Library, where the Seneca Park Zoo will talk about butterflies, their migration habits, and growing butterfly-friendly gardens here in Rochester.  Van Putte Gardens staff will help the kids do a butterfly-themed project regarding what they learn from the zoo demonstration.  Hope to see you there!

About the Kids Grow Club:

  • It’s free for kids ages 5-12
  • The club meets three times a year (April, August, October) and creates a fun seasonal project.
  • Members receive a special birthday gift each year

For more information or to sign-up your child, please click here.

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