A recent addition to the activity packets that accompany Boys & Girls Club food distribution each Thursday was a tiny plastic container holding a pod of peat, a small envelope of cucumber seeds, a saucer, and instructions for helping the seeds sprout to a plant ready to grow. It may have looked like a simple gift but this was the product of a partnership between BGCNN, ERUdyne and Dream Fields, coordinated by volunteer Joni Carter. “I wanted to think of something that would provide kids an activity that would give them a sense of control, realizing that they could plant some seeds that might eventually create a food source for their family.”
Carter continued: “I was thrilled that Suzanne Novak offered to bring some of her staff at ERUdyne to help assemble 250 kits, and that Dream Fields board president Travis Pittman allowed us to put it all together at their club site.”
According to Carter, this is just the beginning of a project that is planned to keep club members engaged in growing healthy foods throughout the summer.
The project follows the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s program Triple Play: A game plan for mind, body and soul. The next step will be to add other vegetable seeds and plants, starting with a tomato plant. “I hoped that we would be able to encourage one of our garden clubs to join this effort,” Joni said. “I am tremendously grateful to Cathie Elliott, Margie Redlin and Mary Hutya at the Rappahannock Garden Club (RGC) for so readily coming on board to help. They have ordered over 200 plants that will be delivered and ready to distribute and plant early this month.” “A fundamental goal of Rappahannock Garden Club is promoting the joy of gardening,” says Redlin. “Encouraging youth participation with this project is a perfect way to create future gardeners. We are delighted to be part of this.” “If anyone else wants to share their gardening ideas with club members, we will be doing these projects from now until August,” continues Carter. “All our projects are hands-on and distance-learning designed. Please contact the Boys & Girls Club if you have any great ideas for the kids. And meanwhile, thank you to all who so far have brought this project to fruition!”