Albert Whitman & Company, publishers of First Peas to the Table: How Thomas Jefferson Inspired a School Garden (written by Susan Grigsby, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell), invite your classroom to participate in a national pea growing contest.
Thomas Jefferson, our third President, held a pea growing contest with his neighbors every spring. The first person to have a bowl of peas ready to bring to the table was declared the winner and would invite his neighbors over for a dinner that included the dish of peas.
Goal: To be the first student team in your USDA Hardiness Zone to harvest at least two cups of peas without using a hot house. The contest is open to students in grades one through four. An entering team may consist of one or more students. Each team may use no more than twenty pea seeds. These should be garden shelling peas (often called English Peas), not snow peas or snap peas.
You may not begin the contest until the official start date of 03-1-12. In other words, your pea seeds must not be placed in soil, other growing mediums, or water before 03-1-12. (Depending on the USDA Hardiness Zone you’re in, you may not wish to start until well after this date. The contest closing dates have been set to accommodate for climate differences between zones.) You may not use a hot house.
Winners will be the first team to harvest 2 cups or more of shelled garden peas in each of these USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. To identify your zone, enter your zip code into the National Gardening Association’s zone finder.
In the event of a tie within the same time zone, one winner will be randomly selected from those that tied. The date of harvest must be noted on the harvest form. All Saturday-Sunday harvests will be bumped up to the following Monday.
One entry form should be completed for each team.
Entrants must also submit a photo of their pea growing log and a photo of their shelled pea harvest being measured. They are also invited to send in a group photo of the winning team members for posting on the Albert Whitman blog and other promotional materials with express permission for such usage.
Entries must be submitted via email to mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5 days after the date that your peas are harvested, measured and recorded. This way the winners may be acknowledged in a timely manner.
The contest will close when a winner is announced or, at the latest, on the following dates:
Zones 7, 8, 9 and 10 May 22, 2012
Zones 5 and 6: June 15, 2012
Zones 3 and 4: July 15, 2012
Certificates of Participation are available in the Teachers’ Contest Resource Guide.
The winning team from each of the eight designated zones will receive four books with gardening themes from Albert Whitman & Company and will be featured on the publisher’s blog. The books are First Peas to the Table: How Thomas Jefferson Inspired a School Garden, In the Garden with Dr. Carver; These Bees Count, and Flicka, Ricka, Dicka Go to Market.