Preschoolers Plant Seeds

By Sally Hansley Odum

In fact, many parents used to carry the kids on their hip while they gardened, or sat the babies down on a quilt under a big, old tree to watch the adults and older children work.  It seems fitting that a library – full of books on every subject – would have a program that would awaken the spirit of children to a love for gardening. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's Hickory Grove Branch in NC recently established a Square Foot Garden at the library. Spearheaded by Brian Hart, Youth Services Librarian, and SFG-enthusiast and library volunteer, Lillie Hart, the library's innovative program for preschoolers has caught the imagination of more than just the local community.
"In order to launch the garden, we held a program for preschool students and taught them about the benefits of healthy eating, and the process of planting seeds so that they grow their own vegetables and fruits. The children really took to the program and the experience of helping to start a garden at the library." ~ Brian Hart
Brian went on to say that he (navy blue shirt in photo) and Lillie (green blouse in the photo) used principles outlined in All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew as a guide to create the garden. They embellished the program with additional children's books and songs about gardening and the life-cycle of seeds.

By the time the children finished the program, they had an excellent grasp of how plants grow from seeds; their vegetables come from the plants; the plants produce more seeds; plants die and fertilize the ground, and so on. Getting hands-on instruction in planting the seeds and watching them grow can bring the pages of a book to life. It looks like this program is on course to grow a harvest of knowledge in self-sustaining principles and healthy living for future generations.


Charlotte Mecklenburg Main Library (
310 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28315
Hickory Grove Branch
5935 Hickory Grove Road
Charlotte NC 28215
(704) 416-4400

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