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No Title 1285

Supplement to “Jon Carloftis: Kentucky’s Home Grown Garden Guru”

Jon-Jon and the Green Experiment encourages kids to get in touch with nature and will be Carloftis’ next book, an illustrated children’s book soon to be published.

The title and theme of the book came from a project Carloftis did in the second grade, where he and his classmates planted and grew some grass seeds in a pickle jar.

“When I did that experiment, it changed my life,” Carloftis says. “I think that when you start at an early age, loving being outside and watching things grow, it affects your life and how you deal with nature. If you grow up planting seeds and watching them grow, then you’re going to have a lifelong respect for nature, and you’re not going to want to go out and destroy it,” he says. “If you are lucky enough to grow up and see how things grow . . . and you go out later and you pick the tomato or you cut the flower, you see that cycle. And you are a different person. In a much better way.”

Kids today “need to grow something, even if it’s just a fun little gourd,” he says. “For me, that’s much more fascinating than the Xbox.”

The importance of having a healthy relationship with natural surroundings, of nurturing something and watching it grow, of the simple joy of being outside—instead of in front of a TV or video screen—are messages Carloftis hopes to share with kids in his forthcoming book.

To read the Kentucky Living March 2006 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: Jon Carloftis: Kentucky’s Home Grown Garden Guru

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