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Growums – a gardening kit for kids

Six specially-themed gardens including Herb, Pizza, Salad, Stir-fry, Taco and Ratatouille

As the nation struggles with childhood obesity, Growums has been right on target to help parents and schools give families a real taste for healthy eating through the gardening experience: where our food comes from and the responsibility it takes to grow it. It starts with the Growums Garden Kits, but the company founders go way beyond retail to deliver the message through national partnerships and fundraising options.

Studies have shown, definitively, that children who grow their own vegetables, are more likely to eat them. With the First Lady’s announcement of the new MyPlate food diagram as an important tool in the battle against childhood obesity, Growums provides a unique and exciting option with specially-themed garden kits for kids that combine learning and fun; all with a little help from an animated cast of herb and vegetable characters at www.growums.com.

Growums is the only gardening kit for kids of its kind – offering an entertaining online platform to really engage kids in the space they play on. With its fun characters, interactive game play and entertaining videos, the Growums website transforms the basics into an overall experience that encourages kids to eat a more healthy diet as it helps to instill the value of gardening and family time together.

Families are encouraged to register each garden and its secret code at the website where the animated Growums characters Tomicio the tomato, Frank Cilantro, Belle Peppa, Ice Berg the lettuce wrapper, Elvis Parsley and more come to life offering “how to” videos and timely weekly email reminders on how to care for the plants all the way to harvest.

This year, the company is also partnering with Bonnie Plants (the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America) to present herb and vegetable starter plants featuring the Growums characters and offering the same online engagement. In fact, the companies are working with Home Depot to coordinate a Children’s Gardening Workshop at Home Depot stores nationwide on May 5th.

And Growums is working hard to extend the message through national partnerships and fundraising options:

National Partnerships

The company founders, father and son Frank and Michael Ferraro, have made it their mission to help kids understand the connection between food and health by developing partnerships with many high-profile nationally based organizations including the Women’s National Basketball Association and the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, to raise awareness of gardening while contributing to a greener environment and promoting health eating habits.

Fundraising Option

To further generate the message and help those in need, Growums also offers a healthy fundraising option for schools and clubs nationwide with a fun and lucrative opportunity to raise funds for their organizations. Growums is an authorized vendor in every school district in Florida and in all 50 states to be used as a fundraising product to help raise money for the schools’ respective campaigns. Participating organizations receive 50 percent of the proceeds from all sales directly through Growums and an additional portion of proceeds goes directly from Growums towards helping to feed needy children.

In the last twelve months, Growums has distributed tens of thousands of Growums garden kits to hundreds of schools and charities across the country including the national Junior Master Gardener program to generate a combined revenue stream of nearly $350,000 for their individual organizations.

Growums just recently partnered with Camp Fire Kids and its 300,000 members for a national fundraiser.

We’re happy to send you samples for your review and encourage you to click on www.growums.com to see the characters in action. And if you’re interested, we can put you in touch with the Ferraro’s to speak to them personally about their passion for this subject, and to get more tips on how to get kids into the garden and the value of that experience.

Growums Product Information:

Growums Garden Kits include all-new self-watering trays that make planting nearly foolproof. Kids and adults can choose from six specially-themed gardens including Herb, Pizza, Salad, Stir-fry, Taco and Ratatouille and then register their garden and its secret code at www.Growums.com where the cool cast of characters teach kids how to grow their gardens and more through fun animated videos. Ideal for kids ages 5 and up, the kits retail for $9.99 and are available in select home improvement and independent garden centers nationwide and Canada.

Growums “Garden in a Box” is a complete gardening system that comes with one self watering container, one Growums Pizza Garden starter kit, collectible stickers featuring the Growums characters, and Growums Magic Soil. The innovative self-watering container allows water to seep from the reservoir up into the soil so that the plants are getting water as needed. Ideal for kids ages 5 and up, the kits retail for $39.99. (Great option for the urban gardener in need of space for planting)

Special Edition Bonnie Plants Featuring the Growums Characters – These new starter plants are offered with Growums vegetable and herb characters including Bonni (tomato), Jaune Pear (yellow pear tomato), Coco (chocolate tomato), Belle Peppa (bell pepper), Hal E. Peno (jalapeno), Princess Strawberry (strawberry), Melonie (icebox watermelon) and Duke the Cuke (cucumber). Each of these characters are featured on “stick tags” in each of the plants they represent and the “Growums family” decorates the “wrap” for each of the plantable, biodegradeable pots. The plants are available at such retailers as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and thousands of independent garden centers across the country.

Visit their website here.

5 comments

1 shift { 03.28.12 at 3:19 pm }

What an absolutely terrible idea.

Why would we want gardening and growing to be consumerized, video-gamed and turned into a bunch of branded animated characters for our kids? It’s the exact opposite of everything that growing has to offer them – and as any parent with a garden will tell you, completely unnecessary – little kids love digging around and being gardeners.

This sort of dumbed-down, disneyland approach will only make them oblivious to the the really incredible things about growing food and leave them hungry for the next funny animated video about their vegetables.

Taco and Pizza gardens? Seriously? The fact that this is being sold at schools in the U.S. is a disgrace.

2 caps { 03.31.12 at 4:15 pm }

shift – that’s a slightly naive take on a product that is geared towards catalyzing a kids knowledge in that space. don’t be so ignorant to forget that there are other modes of entertainment out there that are incredibly difficult to compete with: iPhone/iPad games, console and handhelds, films.

if a parent is going to be successful with getting a child to fully embrace gardening, you have to be aware of current cultural trends. yes, a purist would say that’s not necessary. but being a purist will get you a niche market.

3 Anna { 04.02.12 at 11:36 am }

I’m shocked by shift’s angry, short-sighted perspective. My kids loved gardening before Growums, and love it even more with Growums. (Yes, I bought Princess Strawberry strawberries for my 5-year-olds strawberry pot because she begged for them.) The products are not dumbed down nor are the videos. And the videos are helpful for parents and children just learning to garden. Shift sounds like a diehard gardener whose mind is so immersed in the weeds and dirt that she’s forgetting most Americans don’t garden or eat fresh food. Growums is clever, sweet and getting people to spend time outside while encouraging healthy eating. Wake up shift!

4 Garden Mama { 04.03.12 at 10:54 am }

Anyone who sells a ratatouille garden is fine by me. There are lots of reasons why I like the Growums idea. First the gardens do encourage “green” outdoor activity and healthy eating, two things most kids don’t gravitate towards these days. And the optional online interactive element may help some kids and parents better connect with their growing experience.

Another perk is that these kits are cheap. The average price for a packet of seeds is $2.50 and these come with lots of cool stuff and growing pellets. It’s a good deal. I looked at their website and it’s inoffensive and cute. The educational element is nice too. I found this video about their fair garden program. It’s worth a look. http://bit.ly/HHLe77

5 Martha { 07.09.12 at 7:18 pm }

The TickleMe Plant Party Favor is great for science and plant lovers. In it you can grow a real pet plant that moves and closes its leaves when Tickled. It even flowers!
You can find the kits to easy grow this plant on line