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Educational Programs - KIDS CAN GROW in York County

Kids Can Grow 2018

"Kids Can Grow" youth participant stands proudly next to her newly planted square-foot, raised-bed gardenHands-on gardening experience for children aged 7 to 12 in York County 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 UMaine Extension York County demonstration gardens. They are mentored and inspired by a team of Master Gardener Volunteers. Successfully raising vegetables, flowers, and herbs builds self-esteem and starts 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 over 19 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.

Kids also create garden crafts such as terra cotta garden stones imprinted with plants, stones, etc., earth buddies (see photo below), or “web sites” (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, their garden craft items, and/or samples of preserved foods such as tomato sauce at the Acton Fair, our county agricultural fair, held in August.

The cost of Kids Can Grow is only $25 per child, thanks in part to generous support from sponsors like the York County Master Gardener Association and local farms and businesses.

Important dates for Kids Can Grow in York County 2018

  • March 12 — Applications are due in the office.
    Online applications available, or a printable application  is available.  APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED FOR THE 2018 PROGRAM
  • April 2 — Parent Orientation
  • April 21, May 12, June 2, July 7, August 18, September 22 — Saturday KCG classes at Crossroads United Methodist Church, Sanford, ME


  • Sat. April 21, 10 am – 1 pm
  • Sat. May 12, 10 am – 1 pm
  • Sat. June 2, 10 am – 12:30 pm
  • Sat. July 7, 10 am – 12:30 pm
  • Sat. August 18, 10 am – 12:30 pm
  • Sat. Sept. 22, 10 am – 12:30 pm

For more information about the program contact Frank Wertheim, Extension Educator, UMaine Extension York County Office, 21 Bradeen Street, Suite 302, Springvale, ME 04083, 207-324-2814 or email



Earth Buddy


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