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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I was a young fellar of about the age of Ten I came upon a coupon add by Dolly Madison makers of snack cakes and treats. The add stated "Send in 3 Dolly Madison Snack cake wrappers and this coupon and we will send you a mini vegetable garden kit".

Well being as poor as we were, it took me a while to gather 3 wrappers but I did and I sent in the coupon. A couple weeks later I was sent a little package that had several different varieties of vegetable seeds. Such as Kandy Corn seeds, cherry tomato seeds, cucumber seeds, cantelope seeds and I'm not sure just what all seeds it had. But it gave instructions on making something like a 4' X 10' garden bed and where to plant each seed.

Now my mom and grandma always raised a big garden every spring and they would always make us kids get out in it and pick weeds and take turns hoeing the ground. I just hated it. But when I got this little package of seeds in the mail, I was very excited to get it planted and I worked in it to keep the weeds out. I don't think everything came up and done well for me but I do remember eating Kandy corn and cherry tomatoes for the first time in my life and seem like I ate on those cherry tomatoes forever.

Well here lately I've been reduced down to driving a school bus for a living and I really kind of like it. I drive for 2 hours in the morning, come home and do things around the house all day and finish the day out driving the bus for 2 more hours. The kids are starting to warm up to me and I've always liked being around kids and have been thinking of making up some kind of a small garden package to give to them when school is out for the summer.

What all should I include in their package? I'm thinking mostly stuff they can pick right off the vine and pop in there mouth. But will still add Kandy corn to the list. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, cantelopes, and what else would go good in a miniture garden?
 

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My GD loves to grow radishes and onions she won't eat either but something about pulling them up and finding something there. We also do a pole bean teepe every year for her and sunflowers.She also loves to dig potatoes (I think its like a treasure hunt) Good luck. My DH is driving a school bus too.
 

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That is very sweet.
Maybe an easy flower like zinnias or marigolds? (oops Callie already thought of it!)

Sounds like you were a natural! its not hard to find kids who have never been to a farm stand much less grown something, id put "what month to plant" info for them!
 

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My 7 year old was helping me garden last night. We were doing all of our indoor herbs... she planted Marshmallow because she liked the pink flower. May not be a good choice though for a kids garden.
We are doing a tire garden this year, and I'm having the kids paint the outside of the tires whatever color they like with whatever pictures. It will be kind of an outdoor art landscape thing.
I planted "Wonderberry" from Bakerscreek last night as well.. I think that would be a good choice for kids! ^_^

Very sweet of you!

Cricket
 

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carrots, radishes, both of those grow quickly.
Lettuce, tomotoes, cucumbers. -- give them a garden that will make a salad! And they grow quickly!

My kids helped me choose some of the seeds for our garden, and seems they liked things with funny names the best.
 

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Shelling peas, my dd loves raw peas straight from the garden. In fact we eat a lot of raw peas, very good in pasta salad. Lettuces for the salad eaters, maybe some basil. Nasturtiums are good too, edible flowers which are pretty and attract hummingbirds, plus the seeds are easy for little hands to pick up and plant. Popcorn is a neat idea too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can you eat bush beans right off the plant or do you always have to cook them first?

Popcorn and sunflowers is a good ideal, however the popcorn might cross polinate with the Kandy corn. Small sugar baby watermelons would be good. Also might throw in some yellow squash seeds.

I'm afraid green peas and lettuce might be a little too early to go in the garden with the other seeds. I was kind of thinking of passing these out right about the time school is out for the summer which is around the middle of May. By then it will be too late for some early varieties of vegetables.

Just wondering if I should make a package for each child or a package for each home dropoff? Some home drop offs I have up to 5 kids getting off. I have about 23 drop offs with about 54 kids total. Out of all these drop off sites, I have only noticed one family that has a garden bed within site of the road. Maybe this will encourage kids to garden when they grow up. I think I was partially encouraged by Dolly Madison.
 

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I once got a "egg" plant. It grew about as big as a bush bean plant and grew yellow and white "eggs". That might be a fun idea.
that was most likely a variety of eggplant...i've seen the seeds listed recently but cannot remember which catalog
 

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"egg" plant = canistel.
Keep it simple.
I would do a pizza garden - tomatoes and basil, and a sunflower garden-2-3 different types of sunflowers, and a salad garden-chard, tomatoes, carrts, radishes- let them choose which garden.

If you have any "goths" on the bus, they might be interested in a "goth" garden- flowers with blackish blooms. Salvia, tulip bulbs- sorry- tulips are expensive.It was just a thought.
 

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What every one else said! What a wonderful idea! My Mom always bought me the Kids PKt. through Gurney's Catalog every year, till I got older. I remember how thrilled I was too! Still love to garden.
 

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Do you have a store where everything is a dollar? Last yr., our local store had a wonderful selection of seeds--that were 10 pkgs for 1$. It would be prefect for your project!

I wish you were close to someone who had blueberry plants, ours always have shoots under them. Call around to the "You pick" places and tell them what they are for.. You might get enough of the shoots for the kids..These could be placed in a milk cartons from the school kitchen??? You could paint the bus # on each one?? Or maybe a mint--they have 1000's of different var.-- plant. Call your local green house and ask if they have small seedlings that you can have/purchase at a discounted rate.

When my kids were growing up, we would plant scarlett runner beans in the same whole as giant sunflowers (now you can get lots of different colors-with cool names! . This would be planted in the center in a circle. Then we would plant tomaotes (Sprite), Kandy corn or strawberry popcorn. Giant pumpkins (0r you could do the white pumpkins?), My kids also loved raw peas, greenbeans, carrots, squash and corn. We would also, include nasturtiums and herbs.. Good luck..I hope you get some great ideas for you seeds..QB
 

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henry fields and gurney's both used to offer 1 cent kids seed packs dont know if they still do or not I remember growing a Huge orange mum and three Big watermelons from my first seed pack .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got to thinking, maybe I should add a few Giant Pumpkin seeds too. That would go good with the Giant sunflowers.
 

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I know many here are against walmart. but they do carry 10 cent and 30 cent seed packets.
Kids are facinated by the strange. Maybe add a few seeds of different colored veggies then would be seen in the grocery store.
I would add in calendula, since they have easy to see seeds that could encourage the children to save seed -like sunflowers-from their garden for the next year. The flowers are very pretty, would be an attractent for beneficial bugs and great for picking with inexperienced hands to share with mom or someone else.
You may want to add in black cherry tomatoes- showing that veggies come in different color.Most kids love the taste and they are very pretty to look at.
Basil for sure! instructions to interplant them with the 'maters.
Pumpkins are always a big fave with kids.Grow their own halloween jack o lanterns.
Maybe some patty pan squash since they are bush variety- white squash shaped like flying saucers and have a mild flavor that kids seem to enjoy.
The above are favorites of the neighborhood kids who come visiting our house to play with my garden knowledge children. They love coming over and snacking straight from our garden as my kids guide them through the taste testing of herbs and then to the veggies and berries.
I think its such a wonderful thing you are doing. You will be the one who inspires the love of gardening in many of those children, who will remember the bus driver who introduced them to the world of home grown food for the rest of their lives. Teaching them many more of life's important lessons with that garden- responsibility, fruits of their labor, dedication to following through with what was started, pride in their work, plus so much more.
I hope my suggestions can help you decide on what you will include.
Keep warm!
~Tammie
 

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Can you eat bush beans right off the plant or do you always have to cook them first?
bush beans are regular green beans (or wax yellow beans or purple beans) that grow on a short compact bush instead of a vine. Our boys devour them straight off the bush - and won't eat them cooked.

Pumpkins, corn, melons - all of those take so long to mature and then the harvest is over so quickly. Stuff that continues to produce, like tomatoes and cukes and beans, are more fun for our kids because they can 'treasure hunt' frequently.

What about having a grab bag - where the kids can select what appeals to them? One flower, one quick vegie, one slow vegie, and a surprise?

We had good luck with the walmart seeds last year - everything germinated just fine.

good luck and enjoy!
 
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