New Castle News

Closer Look

June 19, 2014

Tomatoes kick off summer kids program

NEW CASTLE — The Apple Castle kicked off its “Read Learn and Grow” program yesterday day with about 50 participants.

The program, aimed primarily at children 10 years old and under, took place outdoors at a rustic amphitheatre of crates and benches designed just for the event.

Steve Johnston and his wife, Ashley, operate the event, along with help from The Apple Castle staff. Johnston and his father, Lyle, own the store, popular for its fruits and fresh homemade jams, jellies and preserves.

Ashley explained that they developed the program, now in its second year, because, “we just wanted to see kids come out on the farm and have fun ...”

“... As well as educate kids on where their food comes from,” Steve added, “and what it takes to grow it and bring it to their tables.”

The activities included a story read by Ashley about the proper care of a growing tomato plant. The kids, ranging in age from preschool up to 10,  sat with rapt attention. After the story time Ashley taught, the youngsters learned the many uses for a tomato and  got to sample a tomato freshly grown right at the Apple Castle farm.

The kids’ reactions were, of course, mixed, but all seemed glad for the experience.

After the story, the kids designed a cup with a face and planted grass seed that will grow into hair on their newly designed faces. That was followed by coloring a tomato picture, which included instructions for the care of tomato plants on the reverse.

As each child left, they received two tomato plants of their own to grow. While the kids were excited to receive the plants, parents seemed even moreso.

From there, it seemed most of the families made a stop at the castle playground for a turn on the slide and swings, and then a visit to the store, so mom could buy some take-home treats and kids could view the bee display inside.

“We both enjoy interacting with children,” Ashley said of the program, “and we wanted to do something they would enjoy too. We want to show them that it can be very fun to grow their own food.”

The program continues throughout the summer, every other Wednesday until Aug.13. There is a nominal fee to cover expenses, and all are welcome to the events, which last approximately one hour.

The Apple Castle is located at 277 State Route 18 in New Wilmington.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Shooting witness arrested for giving false name

    State police have arrested a second Detroit area man after questioning him about Sunday’s fatal shooting in Ellwood City. DeMarco Dorian Hoskins, 22, of Highland Park, Mich., was the third man in a private car that transported the deceased to look for a hospital. Hoskins allegedly gave police a false identity when they questioned him as witness.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • bridgerepair.jpg PennDOT seeks outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GALLO_Natalie.jpg County native plays Clinton intern

    Natalie Gallo isn’t an intern, but she’s playing one on the New York stage.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Coroner: Shooting victim hit by two bullets

    An autopsy revealed a Detroit area man killed in an Ellwood City shootout had suffered two gunshot wounds. Only one was a fatal hit.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • schoolmoney.jpg Schools strain from weight of rising pension costs

    Gov. Tom Corbett is ratcheting up pressure on the Legislature to reform the state's pension system by focusing on how often school districts use tax increases to offset costs.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage