Tiny plant workshop a success

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 27, 2019

Kids filled plastic cups with rocks and soil, before repotting small succulents during the tiny gardening workshop at the Crosby Arboretum Friday.

The workshop was led by Christine Coker, an associate professor of urban horticulture for Mississippi State University—or as she explained her job to workshop attendees, a veggie doctor. Teaching children about gardening helps make them informed consumers, Coker said, and informed consumers will support farmers.

“Kids just don’t know where their food comes from,” Coker said.

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Learning about gardening helps young people understand where a vegetable comes from, before it is put in a package or served at a restaurant, Coker said.

The 17 participants of Friday’s class created a greenhouse in a glove by placing cotton balls and white beans in the fingertips of gloves. Any dry bean would work, Coker said. Children then sprayed the cotton balls with water, and tied the gloves closed.

Coker instructed them to take the gloves home and place them in a sunny spot, like a windowsill, to allow the beans to sprout.

Next, the children planted succulents in plastic cups and spritzed the desert plants with water. They decorated the miniature gardens with animal figures and tiny bridges.

Lily Breaux filled her miniature garden with tiny ducks and ladybugs. Breaux said she liked how messy the class was, but wished the lesson had lasted longer.

The two projects are quick and involved, Coker said, which works well for small children who learn best with hands on projects, but have short attention spans.

“It’s a good way to put science in front of them, but they can also take it with them,” Coker said.