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LOU ANN GOOD
Lancaster Farming Staff
LITITZ (Lancaster Co.) Did
your mom ever yell at you for
walking in your stockinged feet
Do you think mice are nice, but
your mom sets traps for them?
You will be happy to know that
there are ways for you to enjoy
mice and walking outdoors in your
stockinged feet without upsetting
At a gardening workshop held
recently for kids at Esbenshade’s
Garden Center in Lititz, kids dis
covered all kinds of neat ways to
learn about nature.
Instead of wearing socks with
no holes outdoors, ask your mom
to let you pull a large pair of old
socks over your shoes and as far up
your legs as they will go. Walk
through a field of dry grasses and
“You’ll be surprised how many
seeds have tiny hooks, barbs,
anchors, and spikes just so they
can hitch a ride,” said Toni Albert,
who writes children’s books about
endangered wildlife and plants.
“When you return from your
walk, take your socks off and look
at the seeds through a magnifying
lens,” she told the kids attending
Don’t try to remove the seeds.
Instead, plant your socks,
That sounds like a strange idea.
You won’t grow more socks, but
those plants and seeds will sprout
First lay both socks on a tray and
pour water over them until they are
socked. Find two shallow pans,
and partially fill them with sterile
potting soil. Plant one sock in each
pan by laying it on the soil and cov
ering lightly with half an inch of
soil. Place on pan in a light, warm
spot, and keep watering it.
Place the other pan in die
refrigerator for two weeks. Many
seeds are scheduled to rest through
the winter and sprout in the spring.
The “winterime” in refrigerator
will trick the seeds into germinat
ing when you take them out. After
two weeks in the refrigerator,
place the second pan near the fust
and keep it watered.
What comes out of the sock that
was put in the refrigerator will be
entirely different than the plants
that grew from the other sock.
children were divided into four groups to learn about critters, endangered
plants, butterflies, bees, and gardening.
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Kids Dig Gardening Event
You don’t need a whole garden
to learn about plants.
You can plant a tiny garden in an
old tree stump or even an old
Fa* those who love bugs, an old
tree stump is a great place to And
them. To grow plants in a tree
stump or old shoe, fill with dirt,
then plant seeds or a plant and
watch it grow. Remember to water
Jack Hubley, host of an outdoor
television show for children,
talked about critters found in the
backyard that mom and dad don’t
Draped around Hubley’s neck
was a com snake.
Some people don’t like snakes,
but snakes are great mice eaters.
So are hawks and weasels.
There are 21 species of snakes
found in Pennsylvania. Only two
species found in Lancaster County
are poisonous—the copperhead
and the rattlesnake.
If you want a pet snake, Hubley
recommended a com snake. He
said, “They are pretty, never bite
much, are tame, and like mice, not
Of course, if you like mice, you
might not want snakes to be eaten.
“Mice are so cute. How could
you possibly set a trap for one of
these?” Hubley asked as showed
some mice to the group gathered
around him. “Well,” he admitted
as far as keeping mice in the house,
“mice are nice, but they aren’t that
He showed the kids moles and
volves, that look similar to mice
but hide in the ground.
Bees and Butterflies
Dean Long, who works at
Esbenshades Greenhouse, showed
a honey bee hive to the children. Of
the many insects found in back
yards, Long said that honey bees
don’t sting unless you step on
them. However, wasps and yellow
jackets will sting continually.
Another session was on butter
flies. “Butterflies make everyone
smile. It’s nature’s way of gig
gling,” the instructor said.
It was a day to learn and have
fun. The children were divided
into four groups and the leaders
wore funny hats.
Each child received a 3'A -inch
blooming plant to take home and
“Gardening can be a valuable
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learning tool if the child is left the
responsibility to care for the
plants. If you can teach a child
someting important like this at a
young age, it can stay with him or
her for the rest of the child’s life,”
said Wilbur Siegrist, retail general
manager at Esbenshades.
Jack Hubley recommends a corn snake as a pet.
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