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April 25 was giant pumpkin-planting day at Parkston Elementary School. Photos by Rob Monson. Click to enlarge photos.
April 25 was giant pumpkin-planting day at Parkston Elementary School. Photos by Rob Monson. Click to enlarge photos.
These Hutchinson County kids are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
These Hutchinson County kids are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
Trays of pumpkin seeds planted and ready to sprout.
Trays of pumpkin seeds planted and ready to sprout.
In less than a week, many of the seedlings had sprouted and were ready to go home with young gardeners.
In less than a week, many of the seedlings had sprouted and were ready to go home with young gardeners.

Planting Seeds in Parkston

May 4, 2012

Students from Parkston Elementary School are conducting a giant gardening experiment this spring and summer. Inspired by Kevin Marsh’s giant pumpkin-growing tips in our March/April 2012 issue, Parkston Principal Rob Monson requested 300 giant pumpkin seeds from Great South Dakota Pumpkin Weigh-Off organizer Cassandra Swanson of Canton. Monson and Parkston student council members recently started the seeds, placing them in dirt-filled plastic cups. As the seeds sprout, they are sent home with students eager to try their hands at giant pumpkin growing. 

Parkston’s planting committee must be a green-thumbed bunch. “We planted the seeds last Wednesday. They started popping up last weekend already! I would guess at this point I have sent home about half of the plants,” Monson said. Any fledgling gardeners who are successful can bring their big pumpkins back to school next fall for the Parkston Elementary Pumpkin Weigh-In.

The school also has a garden plot. Each grade picks a vegetable to grow. School gets out on May 11 in Parkston, so the kids don’t get to spend much time in the garden, but as Monson says, they at least get a chance to “get their hands dirty and know that vegetables don’t just come out of a can.”

Comments

05:59 am - Thu, May 17 2012
Cassandra Swanson said:
CONGRATULATIONS! Very impressive that these kids are doing so well! I am proud of all of you. Don't forget, the OFFICIAL WEIGH IN for Giant Pumpkins is Saturday, October 6, 2012 at the Country Apple Orchard in Harrisburg, SD - if any of you grow a 'truly' big pumpkin and want to enter the contest - COME ON OUT! THANKS for taking part in the pumpkin adventure! Cassandra (605-743-5270)
06:46 am - Thu, May 17 2012
Gary the WiZ said:
This is fantastic! Great seeing young ones getting involved and growing outside in the sunshine. Please keep me informed of the progresses thru out the growing season. I would like to put an article in our Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers Newsletter with pictures and the growers thoughts and experiences. Please contact me, this is really great.

If you are growing outside, then you are growing inside........

GrowZ'em BIG and good luck !

06:20 pm - Thu, May 17 2012
Pat Watson said:
Great job folks! I got home from work tonight and my 8 year old daughter was waiting at the door to help me check the pumpkin plants. This is where it all starts...many kids spend far too much time indoors these days! Nice article!!

I have shared this with lots of people in Ontario, Canada. Keep up the great work!

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