US (MN): Teen helps to spreads awareness on indoor farming through home kits

Despite the bitter Minnesota cold, Bemidji homeschool senior Bridget Westrum hopes that her Growing Our Future free youth gardening initiative will continue to sprout.

After the program's first distribution cycle last March when around 135 youth received "starter garden" kits, Westrum is aiming to distribute 200 indoor herb gardening kits in the coming weeks with the hopes of creating a new generation of young gardeners. "Through these kits, youth will learn more about themselves, patience, and the vast gardening community around them," Westrum said. "This is our second kit cycle since the birth of this program and it won't be our last."

Westrum started the program after taking up backyard gardening during summer 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic causing her to spend more time at home. After receiving much community support, donations, and a grant from the Minnesota Youth Council to support the first round of distribution, she wanted to continue the "green gifting." Hence, another kit cycle was born. Westrum's inspiration came from wanting to provide indoor gardening options to those limited by Minnesota's cool temperatures and limitations in land availability in the city.

The indoor kits will include a rectangular herb pot, a spray bottle for watering, seven to 10 seed varieties, soil, wooden plant markers, a grow light bulb and instructions. They are available for anyone 18 years or younger who is interested in learning more about gardening and come with the added benefit of doing so from the comfort of their homes or apartments.

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