BARBARA STORZ | SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR
Gardening with a child is a great way to plant the seeds of knowledge. When you plant seeds with a child, they can watch the life of the plant begin and follow the plant on its journey toward flowering and seed production.
The child’s vocabulary seems to double overnight as you identify the parts of the plant and all of the events that occur as the plant grows and flowers, including insects that visit the plant. Often, this is the beginning of a child’s love of science, nature and even fresh vegetables.
The Growing Growers Farmers Market at McAllen’s Firemen’s Park wants to encourage everyone to plant seeds with a child in your life. They have partnered with Barnes & Nobel book store to bring a book fair that includes several books that focus on planting seeds from 10 a.m. to noon April 6 at the farmers market.
Additionally, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and their Master Gardener volunteers will provide several educational displays and hands on activities involving seed planting. There will be a book reading of the award winning, “What Will Gro,?” The book was selected for its excellence by teachers around the country and recognized by the American Horticulture Society at their annual Children’s Gardening Conference in 2018.
Children will also learn that we eat different parts of a plant. Sometimes we eat the stems, sometimes the flower or roots, or seeds. Tony Trevino, co-owner of Ranch Lomitas Native Plant Nursery in Starr County, will provide a demonstration on roasting ebony seeds so that the children will learn some of the historical uses of our native seeds.
This educational event is free and children are welcome to participate in the hands-on activities and learning stations as well as the book reading.
And, for those who follow the Growing Growers Farmers Market, from 10 a.m. to noon today it is hosting a tomato taste test conducted by researchers from Texas A&M University. Staff from the Vegetable Research Center in Weslaco will be at the market to get everyone’s opinion of the best tasting tomato from several varieties that are being studied for their potential in South Texas. The farmers market is on the corner of 1st Street and Business 83 in Firemen’s Park in McAllen and is open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays
Barbara Storz is a local horticulturist. You can listen to her gardening program at 7 a.m. Saturdays on 710 KURV Radio. E-mail her at email@example.com.