Earlier this month, Pinedora Farms was invited to participate in a non-profit group formed by the Mazatzal Casino in Payson, for their annual Carnival for the kids. We were delighted to be there and set up an area where we can work with the kids. Our “Booth” or space we set up was simple, and yet we were there to teach the kids about soil, growing plants and where real food comes from. This was our first year, so we were not sure what to expect.
The “Theme” for the kids was to go from one booth/game to the other to get through all 13 of them and bring back their Christmas Tree card with hand drawn ornaments (representing each booth) filled up, to get their free toys and stuffed animals which had been donated by many of the local businesses for these kids.
We really didn’t get to have much time to spend with the kids teaching, so as each one came through, I had a big tub of various different types of soil that I’d give the kids some spoons to mix with and then fill their styro cups with and plant a seed of their choosing. One thing I did try to emphasize to the kids was the connection with “bullying” and how plants actually respond and grow better when you talk to it and say nice things. I told some kids that when you talk “mean” to it, the plant will not grow very well and it can even whither away and die. But nice words help to make it healthy and strong and very happy.
One of the ladies behind me tending to another game booth, came over to tell me that after the kids left our plant booth and went to play their game, she’d offer to hold their styro cup filled with dirt and their new seed. She told me the kids would not put their cups down and that they had been so excited to be able to try to grow something on their own.
I was very touched. Something we can easily take for granted, but understanding as another one of the non-profit groups of the casino mentioned, “Most of these kids have never had the chance to see how a plant grows, let alone grow something of their own.” For as quickly as we shuffled the kids through, it made us feel good to know that in a short time, we can make an impact in the lives of others, and simply reiterated our plans for doing a hands-on educational program here at our farm for the kids.
Mazatzal Hotel & Casino, the NPCT (Non-profits Coming Together) group is so amazing. Each year these groups get together and work to help provide gifts and toys to families in the community who would otherwise not have much of one, or even one at all. You all are amazing!!