Huntersville third-grader grows green thumb
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – Summer was arriving, Ethan Goolkasian was getting out of school and, to tell you the truth, he was bored and looking for something to do.
Then he thought about how he likes cucumbers and strawberries, and that train of thought led him to the idea of planting a garden. He asked his mom, Dawn, and she mentioned how much she like tomatoes. Soon, he, his mom and and neighbor Dave Harkins were headed to the store.
They bought six plants – two strawberries, two tomatoes and two cucumbers (one a Japanese variety and the other American).
Ethan hoed up the ground in a small plot beside the Goolkasians house at 13400 Harvest Point Drive. But the adults had their doubts about whether the plants would flourish.
“It was just hard clay,” Dawn Goolkasian said last week. “I was sort of surprised anything would grow there.”
But Ethan got a bag of potting soil, and he and Harkins nestled the plants in potting soil in the ground. No fertilizer. “Just dirt,” Ethan said, and plenty of water, which has almost doubled the family’s monthly water bill, mom noted.
The rising third-grader at Huntersville Elementary School must have a green thumb because he’s already harvested two huge Japanese cucumbers, one 22 inches long. They’re delicious, he said.
He’s got more cucumbers growing, and the tomato plants are weighed down with fruit. Ethan is watching three red ones closely and expected to pick them any day now. At least a dozen more green tomatoes are weighing down the plants, which have grown to look like three and are straining the wood and metal stakes that Ethan and his gradnfather, Tom Tedder added for support.
The strawberries are producing equally well. Ethan picks each one as it ripens, puts them in a resealable sandwich bag and “eats them later.” his mom said.
He’s already making plans for next year’s larger garden, where he’ll give all the plants more space to grow even bigger.
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