This week I had the pleasure to meet Solé N. Jefferson, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Margaret B. Henderson Elementary School. Her mother, Thelma, had called me the day before to ask if I knew of a place that would plant seedlings from her daughter’s science project. Solé ‘s donated work now can be found in the Oak Cliff Organics garden at Repotted and in the gardens at Oil and Cotton.

Solé, who wants to be a zoologist when she grows up, wanted to do something with animals, and worms were allowed in the science project. She used two rectangular containers, soil, and the same seeds in both. However, in the second container she added worms. Here were her findings:

Container B with worms
All seeds sprouted in three days
Plants grew, thrived, and formed fruit
Bugs didn’t eat the plants

Container A no worms
Seeds sprouted in seven days
Plants were yellow and didn’t have fruit
Bugs attacked the plants and most died

For her efforts Solé won first place in her class, grand prize in her school and a fourth-place trophy at the district level. She has learned that worms provide good fertilizer for plants. They help work the soil too, and they give off minerals. Repotted currently has worms available if you would like to add them to your garden.

What’s next? Solé says she plans to keep on gardening! Her next growing tests will be done in a container with a window to see the worms work, and she will grow flowers using organic and non-organic methods. Also, she and her family are planning to rent a plot at the Kiestwood Community garden to continue their organic food-growing efforts.

This Garden Lady is very impressed and inspired to see younger generations, like Solé, enjoying and experimenting in the field of gardening!