GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis in Bloom will be hosting its third annual Organic Gardening Fun Day at Haskins Park Shelter House from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, with vegetable snacks, gardening tips and activities for families.
GIB Volunteer Coordinator Kim Canaday says the event is open to the public and free. Gallia Soil and Water District will also be present to gift a rain barrel kit to a prospective family. Children will make decorate stepping stones to be placed in community garden on Fourth Avenue. A mystery box will hide vegetables and children will be asked to feel them. Children will then be asked to guess what they think they just found.
“It’s amazing what kind of vegetables kids have never seen,” said Canaday.
Canaday will explain the importance of a pollinator and butterfly garden that GIB and a local Boy Scout troop have been fashioning.
“We’ll explain to the kids on Organic Fun Day what a pollinator is because without bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, we don’t have any fruit or vegetables,” said Canaday. “That’s what keeps the whole system going, cross pollination. Kids don’t realize. They get their fruit and vegetables from the grocery store. They don’t have any idea where it comes from. They haven’t been to orchards or gardens. This will give them an idea of how to plant their own stuff.”
As part of the event’s activities, children will plant in recyclable egg container carrots, beans, turnips, broccoli and peas and will be allowed to take them home.
“It’s all about getting them to appreciate real food,” said Canaday. “Why would you want to expose your kid to chemicals when you can grow perfectly good food with organic dirt from composting?”
Canaday said a brief lecture would also be given on the act of composting and using the remains to fertilize gardens.
The America in Bloom, according to its website, is a national competition that was started in 2001 after modeling itself on successful beautification projects around the world. According to Canaday, Gallipolis in Bloom got its start in 2006. Lori Kelly, of Bob’s Market, came across the AIB organization as part of her activities. Canaday said Kelly shared the organization with Karen Smith and the pair visited with city officials and civic organizations throughout the region in order to get GIB off the ground. Since that time, GIB has taken home 11 major awards, multiple recognitions and entered AIB’s Circle of Champions, a tier of competition reserved for repeat winners.
GIB has still to attain an elusive rating of five blooms but has consistently maintained a rating of four out of five blooms for the last three years.
Judges from America in Bloom will be arriving July 13 and 14 to oversee the fruits of GIB’s labor.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.