Playing in the dirt

Date Published: 
July 18, 2014

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Children have planted this garden in May, in partnership with the Selbyville Public Library, and continue to maintain it.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Children have planted this garden in May, in partnership with the Selbyville Public Library, and continue to maintain it.For once, kids are being encouraged to get dirty, and the Selbyville Public Library is leading the way.

The Selbyville Children’s Garden was planted in May by about 12 children in the library’s summer reading program. Now, every Tuesday at 4 p.m., children can attend the reading program — but they can help take care of their garden all week long. That means pulling weeds and watering the many plants.

“They love it,” said children’s librarian Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell.

They’re growing tomatoes, peppers, radish, cucumbers, squash, basil, parsley, cantaloupes and more. A line of sunflowers along the side of the library building is expected to reach 7 feet tall.

The veggies will be used in the teens’ Chop Challenge cooking program. They’ve even made a few dollars selling vegetables in the library.

“The parents say, ‘How do you get kids to come out and play in dirt and we can’t get ’em to clean their rooms?’” Purnell laughed. “It’s all about putting fun in little stuff like this.”