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


Join the First Peas to the Table Contest and compete with other school gardens to grow the first pea of the year! Peas are one of the earliest vegetables you can plant in the school garden and should be ready to harvest by the end of the school year. Lessons associated with peas include plant life cycles, plant adaptations, trellis engineering, and measuring!

Participating Gateway Greening youth gardens will receive free pea seeds and either an award or participation sign for their garden.

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

1. Gateway Greening Network Youth Garden Leaders Register here
2. Pick up seed peas and information at chosen time and location.
3. Plant your seeds starting on February 25th. Take photos of the youth planting!
4. Tend peas.
5. Measure and document harvest.
6. Submit First Peas to the Table Results by June 1. Send any photos you wish to share to

Award categories are:

First Pea to the Table

Heaviest Harvest

Most Peas Harvested

Tallest Pea Plant

Most Creative Pea Trellising

If you have any questions about the First Peas to the Table Contest, please contact Gateway Greening 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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