Youth Contests

Each year, Gateway Greening hosts two, youth-specific contests to encourage students to get outside and explore their school gardens!


First Peas to the Table


First Peas to the Table contest is inspired by St. Louis author, Susan Grigsby’s award winning book “First Peas to the Table.” Youth gardeners will compete to get their peas to the table first!

Each participating class will receive seed peas and a copy of the “First Peas to the Table.” Winners will be awarded a sign to post in their garden and then Susan Grigsby will visit to talk to the children about writing and publishing in addition to how gardening inspires her writing.

In order to compete in the First Peas to the Table contest:

1. Gateway Greening School & Youth Garden leaders register for the competition.
2. Pick up seed peas and “First Peas to the Table” for each participating classroom. Books and seeds will be available at the Gateway Greening Office, 2211 Washington Avenue, 63103.
3. Plant your seeds starting on February 29th. Take photos of the youth planting!
4. Tend peas.
5. Harvest and document the harvest!
6. Submit photos and harvest dates and weights to by May 18th.

Award categories include:

First peas harvested

Largest single harvest by weight

Largest pea pod harvested

Most creative pea trellising

Tallest pea plant

Best pea-inspiring writing

Best pea-inspired art


If you have any questions regarding the First Peas to the Table Contest or about Gateway Greening’s Education programs in general, please contact our educators at 314-588-9600 ext. 106 or


Sweet Potato Challenge

It’s nearly that time again! Summer’s on its way, and you have to start thinking about what to plant that will survive blazing heat and infrequent watering all summer long. Tomatoes will run for the hills at the first sign of negligence. But we have a plant, and a contest, for you:

Plant sweet potatoes in your bed this May!


Gateway Greening Youth Gardens are eligible to participate in the Sweet Potato Contest. The first 10 gardens to sign-up can pick up 18 sweet potato slips (plants a 4×12 bed) from the Carriage House (3815 Bell Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108) in May – keep an eye on our Enews and Social Media. We will be announcing pick up dates in late April.

Participating gardeners need to take photos of the ‘before’ while you are planting, maintain during the summer, and in October, bring your kids out to harvest all those sweet potatoes. Weigh them, submit ‘after’ photos and the information to be in the running for these three categories:

Largest Harvest (Lbs.)

Weirdest Potato Shape

Largest Potato

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