Watch Me Grow in the Garden: Cultivating Young Minds and Green Thumbs

Malons Project, in collaboration with Karron Cooke-Bey of Real Solutions, proudly completed a 12-week transformative program, "Watch Me Grow in the Garden," at the North Phoebus Community Center in Hampton, VA. This initiative brought together the enthusiasm of young minds and the wisdom of experienced gardeners to create a flourishing community garden and an unforgettable educational experience.

Program Overview

"Watch Me Grow in the Garden" was designed to introduce children to the joys and responsibilities of gardening. Over the course of 12 weeks, participants engaged in hands-on activities that taught them about planting, nurturing, and harvesting various plants. The program aimed to cultivate a sense of responsibility, patience, and environmental stewardship among the young gardeners.

A Collaborative Effort

This program was made possible through the collaboration between Malons Project and Karron Cooke-Bey of Real Solutions. Karron Cooke-Bey, with his extensive knowledge and passion for gardening, played a pivotal role in guiding the children through each step of the gardening process. His expertise and enthusiasm inspired the participants to fully engage in the activities and learn valuable life skills.

Learning and Growing

The children who participated in the "Watch Me Grow in the Garden" program had the unique opportunity to experience the entire lifecycle of plants, from seed to harvest. Each week, they learned about different aspects of gardening, including:

  • Planting Seeds: Understanding the basics of soil preparation and seed planting.
  • Watering and Care: Learning the importance of regular watering and plant care.
  • Understanding Growth: Observing the growth stages of plants and learning about photosynthesis.
  • Harvesting: Reaping the rewards of their hard work by harvesting fruits and vegetables.

The Fruits of Their Labor

One of the most rewarding aspects of the program was seeing the children’s excitement and pride as they witnessed the real fruits of their labor. The joy on their faces when they harvested their first tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs was truly priceless. These young gardeners not only gained practical gardening skills but also developed a deeper appreciation for nature and the food they eat.

Community Impact

"Watch Me Grow in the Garden" has had a positive impact on the North Phoebus community. The program fostered a sense of community among the participants and their families, as they worked together to create and maintain the garden. Additionally, the community center garden became a vibrant space where residents could gather, learn, and enjoy the beauty of nature.


Parents and participants alike have praised the program for its educational value and the positive changes it brought about in the children. One parent noted, "My child has become more responsible and excited about eating vegetables because she grew them herself!" Another participant shared, "I loved watching my plants grow every week. It was so cool to eat the tomatoes I planted!"

Looking Ahead

Following the success of this year’s program, Malons Project and Real Solutions are planning to expand "Watch Me Grow in the Garden" to include more community centers and reach even more children. The goal is to continue fostering a love for gardening and an appreciation for nature in young minds.


"Watch Me Grow in the Garden" has proven to be more than just a gardening program. It’s an initiative that nurtures growth, learning, and community spirit. Malons Project and Karron Cooke-Bey of Real Solutions have shown that with dedication and collaboration, we can cultivate not only plants but also the minds and hearts of the next generation.

For more information about upcoming programs and how to get involved, please contact us.

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