Floretum event reaches out to ‘next generation of Edmonds gardeners’

Matt Erwin from Farmer Frog explains to Shorewood Elementary Third-grader Paige Oliver the differences between millipedes and centipedes, two common garden pests.

Matt Erwin from Farmer Frog explains to Shorewood Elementary Third-grader Paige Oliver the differences between millipedes and centipedes, two common garden pests.

The Edmonds Floretum Garden Club teamed up with the local urban agriculture experts at Farmer Frog to run its first-ever Saturday workshop designed for kids. The event attracted about a dozen young and eager participants who learned about garden pests, how seeds germinate and grow, and soils — and then planted their own seeds and starts to take home.

Mom Kelly Oliver brought daughters Harper, Adison and Paige to the workshop. "I love to garden, and I think it's great to have special event like this where kids can learn about something that can become a lifetime passion," she said.

Mom Kelly Oliver brought daughters Harper, Adison and Paige to the workshop. “I love to garden, and I think it’s great to have special event like this where kids can learn about something that can become a lifetime passion,” she said.

“We’ve been running Saturday workshops for the past 10 years,” said Floretum member Janice Noe, who along with Tess Cayou coordinated the event. “Up til now they’ve all been aimed at adults, many of whom work during the week,” said Noe, who recently retired from a 22-year career as a horticulturalist for the Edmonds Parks Department. “But by teaming up with Farmer Frog, we’re able to expand to younger audiences, and help ‘plant the gardening seed’ early.”

Farmer Frog was represented by Matt Erwin, a lifetime gardener, horticulturalist and educator. Erwin is passionate about working with young people and sharing his knowledge.

“I love to see kids getting their hands dirty,” he said. “To me, the garden is the world in microcosm. And there’s nothing that gives me more satisfaction than seeing a young face light up with new understandings about the world.”

The instructors’ enthusiasm was contagious, and quickly spread to the kids in the room. By the time the youngsters left two hours later, each participant had several plants to bring home, each in a homemade origami pot.

“I’m looking forward to doing more events with kids in the future,” Noe said. “This was our first effort, and I think that as word spreads we’ll get more participation. It’s really gratifying to help groom the next generation of Edmonds gardeners.”

– Story and photos by Larry Vogel

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1 Comment

  1. How nice to see the kids in action with gardening! Hope this starts a lifetime love of growing things.

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