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Chelsea Senior Center’s Read & Seed: Sow Much Fun

Courtesy photo. Preschool children and seniors plant seeds during Read and Seed in the hoop house.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Sharon Kegerreis for the information and photos in this story.)

Chelsea Senior Center’s annual two-day Read & Seed event with Chelsea Preschool was another memorable success for connecting generations. Many senior center volunteers look forward to participating each year.

“My favorite part was watching the kids pull radishes up and seeing the expressions on their faces,” says Allison Rullman, manager of the Trinh Pifer Intergenerational Garden. “It was like they discovered a treasure.”

During Read & Seed, preschoolers and Chelsea Senior Center (CSC) volunteers participated in two activities. In the cafeteria, senior volunteers read garden books to the young ones.

“I had a blast,” said Jean Dunn, a longtime CSC volunteer. Dunn has volunteered for Read and Seed since its inception. “The kids are so energetic, yet they listen so well. We talked about vegetables; which ones they love and which ones they don’t. We talked about fussy eating. It was so much fun.”

Courtesy photo. Master Gardener Allison Rullman and senior center volunteer works with preschoolers during Read and Seed event.

In the garden hoop house, preschoolers planted seeds of carrot, radish, kale, nasturtium and more in raised beds under the guidance of senior center volunteers. The preschoolers also admired the verdant beds of strawberry vines and blossoms and experienced the joy of pulling up leaves to see the whole radish pop from the soil.

“I am always so thrilled to see the energy and excitement of the young folks scattering, covering and watering seeds,” says longtime CSC volunteer Charlotte Wyche. “This year was especially exciting because they could touch, smell and taste kale and radish.”

Many of the children gave the “thumbs up” on flavor for these early-growing bitter garden vegetables, the seeds of which had been planted last fall and in February by garden volunteers. Rullman is already planning to plant more rows of radishes for next year’s Read & Seed, since the “big radish reveal” was a clear hit with the preschoolers.

In just a few weeks, the preschoolers will return to the hoop house to admire the seedling growth. Sharing the Washington Street Education Center’s campus, the two organizations connecting for intergenerational experiences has been a favorite tradition. Volunteers are always welcome and needed in the Trinh Pifer Intergenerational Garden. Contact CSC to volunteer.

Chelsea Senior Center (CSC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in Chelsea, Michigan. Its mission is to enhance the quality of life and well-being for area seniors and their families. Chelsea Senior Center is located at 512 Washington St. Contact CSC at [email protected] or (734) 475-9242.

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