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VACA YOUTH SEEK SEEDS OF CHANGE

Kids and their plants are blooming at the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club and the community is asked to continue the growing season with a simple click.
By going online to http://bit.ly/2090L7A and clicking the “vote” button, community members will put the club in the running for a Seeds of Change grant that can make a huge difference in the lives of Club children.
“We get that we are reaching for the stars,” said Susan Schwartz, club volunteer extraordinaire and head of the club’s garden projects. “But our goal is we’re going to try to get to the Farmers Market this year, we want to feed the homeless. … We want to give the kids produce to take home. We want all of that. We just don’t have enough.”
Winning the Seeds of Change grant could change that.
In 2014, a grant allowed the Club to obtain three innovative tower gardens that provide rapid growth of fruits, vegetables and herbs without using dirt. It’s all about water and nutrients.
There’s also a traditional garden behind the club.
The Seeds grant, Schwartz said, would provide funding for more soil, seeds, plants and more. The community would reap the harvest, she said, with the abundance already shared with the kids through cooking classes, pesto and salsa making, creating dill pickles, cooking meals for residents of Opportunity House and more.
“The kids love to make salsa and dill pickles,” Schwartz continued. “We need so much — a shed in the back and to hook up our (outdoor) sink.”
The club’s gardening projects teach the kids about gardening and sustainability, she said, and when they go home, they use their training in their own yards.
Alyssa Hurley, 10, said she enjoys the whole gardening process and can’t wait to do more.
“I like looking at the plants and taking them out when they’re done,” she said, adding that she put together two towers all by herself and helped plant them.
“I like eating all of them,” she said, of the burgeoning produce that includes everything from strawberries to carrots to kale and dill.
Schwartz said everyone is excited about the potential of more funding.
“It’s endless, the things we could grow and we could do more projects,” she said.
By Kimberly K. Fu, kfu@thereporter.com, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter