Growing Kindness: The Edu-Garden Bee Kind Crew

As we wrap up a wonderful 2021 growing season for the Tollgate education garden, we want to recognize our edu-garden volunteers, each of whom tirelessly gave of their time and creativity to help create and care for a fun child-friendly garden space. The edu-garden beautifully bloomed in 2021 under the loving care of volunteers Kathy Begin, Dawn Snook, and Nancy Turner.

Tollgate educational programs incorporate plant science and practical aspects of growing food locally and sustainably. The gardens and grounds across the farm afford a living laboratory to discover, investigate, and explore the world of plants in hands-on ways.  The overarching goal for the education garden is for school children and campers to be actively engaged in the gardening process. Kids are allowed to investigate science phenomena; sow, weed, and water; and harvest and cook with the produce.  

The edu-garden cohort became fast friends as they helped provide new and ‘tried and true’ educational elements in the garden – plant scavenger hunts, student-made garden signs, experimental fall cover crop plots, investigation of good and bag bugs, a pizza garden, a tea garden, pollination, irrigation, and much more. During the pandemic, these dedicated volunteers. also known as the Bee Kind Crew, helped staff pivot our Plants and Their Partners program from an in-person to virtual program, incorporating themes of kindness to others, supporting pollinators, and growing food for others.  

The edu-garden continues to grow into a fun, inviting place for kids, where staff and volunteers sow, weed, water, and investigate alongside children. The edu-garden is an essential element of the overall education happening on the farm. Thank you does not begin to describe how grateful we are for all the hard work put in by our fabulous edu-garden volunteers. The small but mighty crew rolled up their sleeves to dig in the dirt and share their love of gardening with our young learners. 

We thank our edu-garden volunteers and are continually inspired by their generosity, commitment, and effort which have made this year in the edu-garden such a success. For more information or to join this amazing crew, email

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