Thursday, February 27, 2014

Who Will We Help?

We have three green organizations we have decided to help, and who have decided to help us by teaching us more about what they do, and supporting our sale.
The Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site began as a dream. A local visionary for the environment, Mary Jo Wegner imagined a natural haven in Sioux Falls like others enjoy in major cities. With wetlands, gardens, and native plants, the Arboretum provides recreation and education. A living link to the past and a great stake in our future: the Arboretum will help future generations foster a relationship with the environment while sharing the story of how earlier cultures interacted with the natural world.
We are planning to give part of our money to their tree fund so we will be helping to plant a tree at the arboretum.
Ground Works is grassroots community development nonprofit with the mission to be the education and networking center to grow opportunities for healthy neighborhoods and communities through school teaching gardens and creative local food production.
During 2012 nearly 1500 elementary school students discovered school teaching gardens as safe places for wholistic learning that engages mind, body, emotions and spirit. With "A Growing Place" teaching garden at Lowell Elementary School, Sioux Falls is beginning its 6th growing season. Early on teaching garden launches took place at Lowell Elementary, Hayward Elementary, and the Children's Home Society in Sioux Falls and also many other gardens have been launched since then to include surrounding communities. The goal of Ground Works is to be the platform for empowering local leadership teams to release school teaching gardens to impact the lives of many more students in the years to come.
Black Hills Raptor Center
The Black Hills Raptor Center helps endangered and injured owls hawks and eagles. It is a non-profit that runs mainly on donations. What is cool is that they just got a huge amount of land donated to them and have started a capital campaign to raise money to have this land turned into use for their birds. No other Raptor Center in the country currently has access to this much space for their birds. They were super excited to hear about our project and are trying to arrange a raptor event in our town so that they can bring one of the birds to our sale in May. 

Meeting the Master Gardners

Business meal number 2 was awesome! I ate a lot. We went to Golden Harvest Chinese Restaurant which is one of my favorites. They have the best wonton soup ever.
There I met with Ellen and Kathy who are master gardeners.
A master gardener is a person who take lots of classes with tests at the end to pass to become a master gardener. Then they help other people with their garden or growing projects. Like me!
Ellen and Kathy realized that they live 5 houses away from each other and they both have dogs that they walk. So they have actually talked in passing before but never really met. So they were excited to find out that they are actually neighbors.
Ellen is going to be there to help us plant on Tuesday for sure. Kathy, who is actually already a mentor at our school, might be there that day but might not because she has a new grand baby she is going to go see.
Yet both of them said they will be helping us with videos and planting and growing tips on the blog.
Ellen has some things to teach us about how wet the seeds need to be in order to grow. They are both a little worried that we will drench or drown them by watering them too much.
I really liked meeting with them. I have decided I really enjoy business meals.

And I would have a photo, but my mom keeps forgetting to take pictures.

How much do we need?

My classmates and I did math to figure out how many plants we are going to plant. How many seeds we need, how many growing trays,  and how much dirt.
That was a lot of math. Lucky I have some classmates that are really good at math and we were able to figure everything out ourselves.

Then we called Landscape Garden Centers right there in class live on the speaker phone and told them what we will need for our project.

It was helpful that my class and I decided to write down what we were going to say before we called. Everyone in the class said Hi, and then Thank You at the end. It was fun and I was glad they were all there to call with me.

Landscape said that the supplies should be ready for us to pick up on Monday!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Note for Parents from a Parent

Hello Allie's classmates and their parents!

 Welcome to the Kids Grow Green blog!

You might be wondering why your child is talking about growing tomatoes.
Well I hope this post clears things up a little.

First you may want to click here and read how this all came about.

Next you might want to know what Allie has asked your children to do.

Allie would like her classmates to help her with her project by growing tomato plants at home.

What Will Happen In Class?
Landscape garden centers has volunteered to provide each child with a growing tray with cover,  plastic inserts to grow individual plants, dirt, and seeds to grow 26 small tomato plants.

On Tuesday March 4th a Ellen Hamilton, master gardener, and "Tomato Queen", has been invited in to guide students in planting tomato seeds, and will give them growing tips.

If you decide that growing tomato plants works for your family, then your child is welcome to bring home their tray.
Parents will need to arrange pick up of the planted trays some time the week of March 4th. Bus transportation of plants is not recommended.

Once The Plants Are At a Home
Then on this blog we will post videos and growing tips as we go. You can just check in, or we can arrange email reminders for your child to check. We can also provide print outs for those who do not have internet access at home, and I am sure Allie will fill her friends in on what she does at home, at school as well.

What if our plants die?
It's all a part of the learning process. Sometimes the best gardeners loose their plants. We understand this.

The Sale
Then on May 3rd students have been invited by the Sioux Empire Farmer's Market to sell the plants they have grown to gardeners for their gardens. If you cannot be there on that date we can make arrangements to get your plants to the sale.

What happens to the money?

Allie's plan is to give back and help the environment.
The kids involved will brainstorm, help choose, and vote on three green causes to have their money go towards. All money raised will support local green efforts.
Kids Grow Green will be designed and shaped by the kids themselves!
They get to help make the decisions!


Because of the awesome leaning experience of this project, the school has agreed to host the kick off planting day, and to allow kids to attend a field trip. The Washington Pavilion and the filmakers of the film Watermelon Magic have agreed to have a free viewing of their film for Allie and her classmates. This is the only official class time reserved for the project because of spring curriculum constraints.

Other than that, taking home and growing the plants, and selling the plants is all optional, but we hope that you will join us in the growing fun. The learning experiences the kids will gain from this project are growing and unlimited.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to send an email to us at

If you do decide to give it a go....

We want to let you know, some other additional outside of class time opportunities have also been given to Allie because of her project, and she would like to invite and include those who are able to help, the opportunity to participate in the other learning experiences as well.

These include..
Being on the KSFY morning show
Having a booth to promote their sale at Ag Day at the Washington Pavilion
Making and presenting a three minute film about the Kids Grow Green project at a fundraiser dinner at Landscape Garden Centers
Being in a photo shoot for the Hood Magazine April Cover Story coming up March 1st.
And this list continues to grow.

These again are not mandatory, just opportunities that have come out of the project. If you wish to have your child participate and it works with your schedule, great, if not that is totally ok.

If you only want to try to grow plants for the sale, that is totally fine too.

We hope you will join us in the fun!

This is great! What else can we do to help?

You will not believe the ideas that the kids had today in the few minutes we had. We had suggestions from kids to build a stand. We had others giving us hints of places to call for donations. We have many excited to help design a Kid's Grow Green logo for them to decide on and vote for. We are ready to let kids run with their ideas. Kids Grow Green is their project! We would love for who have interest to be able to write blog posts, or even post their own videos about the project on this blog. It is all up to your child, where their interest is, and how they want to participate. We just want to offer them the opportunity.

So if your child has an idea to share for the project, and you want to offer to help make it happen feel free to email
 This is their project too because Allie cannot do it without them, and they all have awesome ideas!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Friday Is the Day!

Friday is the day I get to tell my class about the project!
I can't wait! It will be hard not to tell them tomorrow.

Then we will be able to brainstorm together and vote on two more green causes that our profits will go toward. I have a couple more ideas now, but I want my classmates to be able to share their ideas too.

We will also have my class help design our event logo in a mini contest and we will vote to decide who's design we like the best. 

Next week Tuesday we plan to estimate the amount of materials we need for our project in class.

Then hopefully March 4th will be our planting day if we get all the supplies.

Yesterday after school  I met Tim and Cindy from  Ground Works. They had some more opportunities for my class but I will save those to share another day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Business Meetings and Interviews

This week I heard from a few people. I am getting good at business meetings and interviews about my project.

We also have an official email.

I have a meeting with Ground works on the 18th.

I have a meeting with my teacher 19th to cover details before I officially talk to my class. Hopefully it will be soon. It is hard to keep all this a secret and I want them to help plan things.

Hood Magazine wants to set up a photo shoot for the April issue.

I got an email and returned a phone call to an Argus Leader writer who was interested in the event and she is also a master gardener.

I also got an email from another master gardener who already is a volunteer at my school who is interested in helping out.

We are still working on supply donations to get started. My classmates might be able to help with that once they know about the project. We will decide how many plants we want to try to grow and figure out how much supplies we need for sure.