Ms. Charlee Marlow’s (Right) Grade 4/5 class with their potted tomatoes

The next generation of Ashcroft tomatoes

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom gets kids growing and learning about the history of their town.

Communities in Bloom members were at Ashcroft Elementary School again this week doing a project with Ms. Charlee Marlow’s Grade 4/5 class. This is the third year that this project has been done with this grade level and Communities in Bloom members were enthusiastically welcomed by the students.

The project has the students learning about different tomato varieties and how they grow in different sizes and colors. Students learn how the small hairs on the stems will turn into roots if planted in the soil and they learn how to transplant the tomatoes from the four inch pots into a one gallon container.

The tomatoes the students plant are a patio variety that are started from seed in the Walker’s greenhouse. Once large enough, they are transplanted into four-inch pots and grown until they are approximately one foot tall. Patio tomatoes are the variety of choice, as all students may not live in a home where a vegetable garden is planted; thus, they are able to grow the tomatoes in the one gallon pot if desired.

Once the students have transplanted their tomatoes they are able to take them home and care for them.  Students from previous years are always eager to relate how their tomatoes grew and how they enjoyed picking and eating the fruit from them.

The final piece of the project is carried out by Kathy Paulos from the Ashcroft Museum. She visits the classroom and tells students how the tomato was an important part of the history of Ashcroft and about the tomato cannery that was located on Railway Avenue and employed many local people.

Andrea Walker

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