Kids Start Garden At Boys and Girls Clubs Of The Sioux Empire

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The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire are kicking off their summer programs on Monday. On the east side of Sioux Falls that means kids are getting into the garden and planting vegetables. 

From corn to beets, kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire are digging in and planting a variety of veggies. 

“They’re learning where food comes from. It doesn’t come from a can. It doesn’t come from a box. They’re learning that food comes from seeds from the ground and to get their hands dirty,” Director of Operations Billy Mawhiney said. 

Future fifth grader Olivia Kolbrek knows how to do that. She loves gardening, but is looking forward to the harvest and beyond. 

“Last year we made salsa with the peppers and tomatoes,” Kolbrek said.

These kids do everything from gathering weeds to watering the plants. Kolbrek even ran into a common pest. 

“That was creepy. It was this big larva the size of a penny or a quarter. It was like black and white and it had a bunch of legs,” Kolbrek said. 

They have four planters at this location and each one has a theme from Latin America to Africa. 

“It just seemed like a great way to kick off the summer is to get the kids out here and get these guys planting,” Mawhiney said. 

Mawhiney said the garden, done in partnership with Ground Works-Midwest, is a hit with the children and their parents. 

“We send recipes home with the families. We send extra produce home with the families. Last year, over 500-pounds of produce produced from our garden,” Mawhiney said. 

And with additional space to plant in the ground this year, it’s a growing program. 

The seed-to-plate program ends with the kids taking part in the Future Chefs project where they learn what they can make with what they’ve grown.

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