Paul Wyatt Distler shows us his garden, "the rest are tomatoes but that one is a pumpkin," he says as he points out what's planted.
The 6-year-old and his family have gardened for years but this year is different. "They have totally taken ownership and they love it," said his mother, Elena Serrano.
Paul Wyatt and his 8-year-old brother John Henry are two of more than two dozen kids taking part in the Blacksburg Farmer's Market's, Market Kids" program. Their mother Elana says it has sparked more interest. "They've enjoyed the planting and we have a little seed room that we've created so they can watch the seeds grow, the transplanting. I think they've enjoyed every step and also that they have someone besides their parents telling them how to grow food, why its important to grow your own food and what you can do once you harvest the food too."
The market gives the kids everything from seeds to seedlings to potting soil and containers if families don't have room for ground plots. "We digged a little hole," Paul Wyatt said as he explained their work. "And then we took them out and put them in."
Market Kids meet for lessons on planting and managing their gardens throughout the season and will learn about making displays for market and customer service later this summer, right before they set up their own spot from which they'll do what Paul Wyatt is looking forward to doing. "Sell them to people," he said.
"It's everything and also the idea that they're going to be selling their stuff," Serrano said. "They're already thinking through how they're going to spend their profits."
It's a seasonal job with a life long lesson. Market Kids will have an opportunity to sell their goods at the market in August.