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By Mary Hiteman, Minister of Weekday School.

Dr. Len Morrow helps the Weekday Preschool children use the mobile gardening cart.

When was the last time you played in the dirt and made mud pies? Let me introduce you to Mud Pie Annie, who does this delightfully in Mud Pie Annie-God’s Recipe for Doing Your Best by Sue Buchanan and Dana Shafer. Annie makes the most creative, non-edible treats with dirt and other ingredients. And she sings of her inspiration: “No matter what I do in life, I’ll do my very best. I’ll work at it with all my heart, and that’s how I’ll be blessed. Whether I make mud pies or great dishes for a queen, I’ll put my ‘ALL’ into it, for there is no in between. And as I work with all my might-as everyone knows-GOD sees what is in my heart, not the mud between my toes.”

Len Morrow (also known as Dr. Potato Head) and Jeff Dortch share Mud Pie Annie’s inspiration to do their best. Len attended a workshop for Master Gardeners in James City County last fall. He learned about plans for a mobile gardening cart that could be wheeled indoors and out, was at a height children could reach, and was self-contained with tool storage included. It seemed like a great idea for our First STEP Preschool-a partnership with FBC and ASK-Making Life Better for Children with Cancer. When Jeff found the plans inadequate, he created his own and built the cart. Len says of him: “He has the tools, the skills and my admiration.”

On March 11 six children and their teachers learned about soil from Dr. Potato Head and scattered seeds in three trays that fit perfectly in the top of the cart. A week later, lettuce and radish seeds sprouted, as well as garden peas. The children were delighted! They check on their garden each Friday with the goal of eating lettuce, radishes and peas before the school year ends on May 20. All of this gardening takes place in their classroom because of Dr. Potato Head and Jeff (who can think of an appropriate nick name for him?).

Mud Pie Annie’s favorite Bible verse fits everyone involved in this gardening project: “Work at everything you do with all your heart” (Colossians 3:23, NIrV).

For more information about First STEP Preschool, contact Mary Hiteman (Hiteman@FBCRichmond.org).

For more information about the mobile gardening cart, go to http://jccwmg.org/index.html and click on Healing Thru Gardening presentations.

Editor’s Note: see related gardening video

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