Matthew Maldonado is a 5th Grader at Champion Schools in San Tan Valley who decided to spend his summer harvesting and selling vegetables from Growing Minds Garden, Champion's school garden.
A typical summer for Matthew Maldonado would include football, video games and science experiments, but this summer he discovered a new hobby that he enjoys; gardening. During the school year Matthew became interested in gardening and wanted to be involved. Mr. Boen, his 4th grade teacher, founded the Growing Minds Garden Club, a club open to the school and the San Tan Valley community. He and Matthew worked together to make sure that the garden was maintained during the summer. Matthew learned the fundamentals of gardening; preparing the soil, watering matters, caring for the garden and that harvesting takes time.
Excitedly, Matthew shared the news that Growing Minds Garden was ready to sell the harvested vegetables. He began in Johnson Ranch, hanging flyers he created and knocking on doors to see the neighbors were interested in purchasing locally grown vegetables. Throughout the summer, Matthew sold sweet onions, zucchini, cabbage and cucumbers alongside his Grandmother and Mr. Boen at Indigo Sky Park and Farmers Markets in San Tan Valley.
Matthew's favorite part of participating in the Growing Minds Garden Club is seeing families purchase vegetables from his school garden. He remains involved this school year in all aspects of the garden; with hopes that he will be in charge of the selling and marketing group. Mr. Boen said, “We are ready to continue the garden this year and we invite all students, Champion families and San Tan Valley community members to take part in the Growing Minds Garden.”
Growing Minds Garden Club meets every Saturday morning from 7:30-9:30, all are welcome to join! If you are interested in learning more about the Growing Minds Garden, please contact Mark Boen at 480-765-2223.
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