Morton Grove library’s Green Thumbs program offers kids a fruitful experience
The goal of the Green Thumbs program at Morton Grove Public Library is to let youngsters see first-hand the origins of the vegetables and other produce items their families get at store. | Contributed photo
Updated: September 10, 2012 12:45PM
MORTON GROVE — Where do the tomatoes and carrots we buy at the grocery store really come from?
The goal of the Green Thumbs program at the Morton Grove Public Library is to let youngsters see first-hand the origins of the vegetables and other produce items their families get at store.
Ann Finstad, head of youth services at the Morton Grove library, said Green Thumbs is one of a variety of educational programs the library has offered for children.
Children in grades 5, 6 and 7 have been getting together to participate in weekly activities such as weeding the garden, making “sun prints” that create an image when soaked in water and change color in the sun, and putting soil in the bottom of a recycled container and creating a “salad garden.”
“They will possibly understand more about different things that need to be done to a garden to keep it healthy,” said Finstad, who feels it’s important for children to make the connection that fruits and vegetables are grown in the earth.
Finstad said children get to see plants grow in a full life cycle, helping them comprehend the work involved in taking care of a garden.
The Green Thumbs program uses the Children’s Education Garden on the west side of the library’s lawn. The library has another such area used for adult programming that is maintained by volunteers.
“We’ve been getting a small but enthusiastic group for it,” Finstad said. “I think they’re learning a lot.”
Finstad said she grew up with a vegetable garden at her home but said unfortunately not all children grow up around vegetable gardens allowing them to see where vegetables truly come from and what it takes to maintain a garden.
In addition to the Green Thumbs program the Morton Grove library is trying to incorporate green initiatives in other aspects of its programming.
The library has held programs on healthy eating and “being green.” There is a program called Urban Worm Girl that talks about the important role worms play in composting. Experts have also provided adult programs about how to improve people’s home gardens.
Finstad said children learn how to successfully take care of a garden by making sure the plants get the right amount of light and by weeding.
Preschoolers planted sunflowers on the patio outside the Youth Services Department. Finstad said lately it’s been so hot outside that for health-and-safety reasons program organizers aren’t taking youngsters outside.
The Green Thumbs program started in July and will run through this month.
The library is at 6140 N. Lincoln Ave. in Morton Grove. For more information call (847) 965-4220.