Kids Can Grow

Hands-on Gardening Experience for Children, Aged 7 to 12, in York County

"Kids Can Grow" youth participant stands proudly next to her newly planted square-foot, raised-bed gardenThe Kids Can Grow program, begun in York County in 1999.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s hands-on Kids Can Grow program gets children excited about gardening.

Kids learn and practice gardening in a series of six monthly sessions from April through September at the Sanford Community Garden. They are mentored and inspired by a team of Master Gardener Volunteers. Successfully raising vegetables, flowers, and herbs build self-esteem and start children on a journey that can become a satisfying, lifelong hobby.

Kids Can Grow Teaches Children:

  • how to choose, plant, and grow nutritious vegetables, herbs, and beautiful flowers for their families;
  • the basics of good nutrition and food safety; and
  • how to build and plant a 3′ x 5′ raised bed garden at home, with materials, seedlings, and amended topsoil supplied by us.

Kids Can Grow has been inspiring young gardeners for more than 20 years! UMaine Extension educators and Master Gardener Volunteers have been teaching children how to grow fresh produce and flowers in our York County demonstration gardens since 1999.

All produce grown in our Kids Can Grow demonstration gardens is donated to the Maine Harvest for Hunger project. Children learn responsibility, for they have ownership of their home garden and the produce it creates. Through the monthly sessions, children learn how to seed, thin, transplant, fertilize, weed, water, and harvest their own gardens.

Earth Buddy made in Kids Can Grow Program
Earth Buddy

Kids also create garden crafts such as terracotta garden stones imprinted with plants, stones, etc., earth buddies (see photo, right), or “websites” (spider houses to attract beneficial insects). Nutrition education is an important part of Kid’s Can Grow. Children learn about nutrition and food safety in our program. They create “harvest pizzas” using produce from their own home gardens. Kids Can Grow is also a specialty 4-H Club. Each Kids Can Grow participant is enrolled as a 4-H member so they can display their garden produce, posters or journals about what they have learned and their garden craft items.

2024 Kids Can Grow Program

This program will open March 1st for applications, the application can be found here at that time.

Kids Can Grow Application Form

Applications are due March 29th, please note that this is an application and you will be notified whether you have or have not been accepted into the program. Payment due upon acceptance to the program; please do not send payment with application. The program fee is $35 if accepted, it includes all the materials. There is partial financial assistance if needed!

Please contact our office at if you have any questions or concerns.

Kids Can Grow is a program that meets monthly April through September on a Saturday from 9am-12pm.


For More Information, Contact:

UMaine Cooperative Extension in York County
15 Oak Street, Suite 302
Springvale, Maine 04083
Tel: 207.324.2814 or 1.800.287.1535 (in Maine)