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This year's youngest tomato grower

Cecilia Daddino of Yaphank

Cecilia Daddino of Yaphank Credit: Joelle Daddino

Who says you have to be in grade school to grow tomatoes? Joelle Daddino of Yaphank has taught her daughter, Cecilia, well. She writes:

Cecilia, age 5 3/4, of Yaphank, has quite a garden growing.  She didn't just plant a bean in a cup as part of her kindergarten home school science studies. She planted a whole  organic garden!  In April, Cecilia started with organic seeds of beans, turnips, lettuce, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, loads of herbs and two kinds of tomatoes (big boy and Roma).  In May she helped Daddy transfer all her plants to her two garden areas and had him lay out a third garden for extra tomato plants.

Cecilia continues to tend to her garden organically, even requesting ladybugs to use as insect control and finding worms around the yard to add to it.  So far its all working because her tomato plants are as tall as she is with lots of green tomatoes and everything is growing better then expected. Last year, she lost all of her tomatoes to blight, making this year's garden even more precious. Cecilia is learning so much from her garden like how things grow and why pesticides and chemicals are bad for her environment and her body. 

And Cecilia is growing something else this year- her hair, in honor of her grandma, a recent breast cancer survivor. She is planning to donate her hair to Locks of Love, a charity that makes wigs for those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatments.

When this nature girl isn't gardening, Cecilia loves reading, bird watching, camping, swimming, and collecting beach glass.

Way to go, Cecilia! Hope to see you at the Great Long Island Tomato Challenge on August 27!

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