Girl Scout Gives Back by Growing Greens


Kate Strunk, Staff Writer

When Freshman Emma Watson moved out of her suburban neighborhood in early 2019, she faced a lot of changes. Sure, there were all the usual things: new neighbors, a new house and the possibility of moving schools. However, this wasn’t all that changed for her. Her family decided to move from their neighborhood to a farm, a first for anyone in their family.

The farm is fairly small, but was still quite the change for the family of four who had known nothing bigger than their backyard. Nevertheless, the farm fulfilled their need for less actual house space and gave them the outdoor room they had been wanting.

“It was kind of nice to have a lot more land. I did want a horse. That hasn’t happened yet, we’re still working on it,” she said. “Part of the whole reason we moved was because my dad wanted a barn to work in, and now we have three.”

Thus, Flannelton Farms was born.

Watson explained that the name has a significance to her family.

“When my parents were in college, they both had these flannel jackets that they always wore and they matched and it’s adorable,” Watson said. “My grandma, my dad’s mom, nicknamed them the Flanneltons, and they’ve just always been the Flanneltons.”

After they bought the property, the family decided to make the most of it.

“My parents really like gardening, so I learned a lot from them and they watch a lot of YouTube videos on [gardening] so I did that with them,” Watson said.

Watson’s parents decided to plant everything from tomatoes to corn to strawberries. It took a while, but they filled their land with small plots of all kinds of crops. That’s when one of Watson’s long-running extracurriculars gave her the perfect opportunity to utilize her new space.

“I wanted to help people that don’t have the access to fresh food all the time so I grew it for them,” Watson, who has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, said. “It’s for the Girl Scout Silver Award. Basically, we just have to do something that helps our community.”

Once Watson decided how she wanted to help, it was time for her to take action. With the help of her father, who is a professional builder, she set to work on her “Giving Garden.” She did everything from building the metal fencing and walls around her garden to the actual planting. While she loved everything she grew, she does have favorites.

“I really like the strawberries…and I really like the green beans. Those aren’t very fun to plant and pick because it’s really hot and it’s kind of dreadful, but I can’t eat canned green beans anymore. Fresh green beans are amazing. And also cantaloupe because that’s never worked out before, and now I’ve got around eight of them!”

It was difficult for Watson, but she was able to follow through and make it work. Once planted, she set about contacting the people who would distribute her food. She decided on an organization her troop had worked with before: Harvest Food Pantry at Saints Francis & Clare. They agreed to distribute Watson’s homegrown food in their pantry.

All that was left was to wait for her plants to grow, and grow as they did; Watson now has many flourishing plants in her garden, including tomatoes, cantaloupe, carrots and another unexpected surprise.

“I really don’t know how we got pumpkins because the last time we had pumpkins was last October. How did they get there?” she laughed at the mishap that was her new plant. “That was an accident, but still fun.”

Watson is still continuing to grow her plants even though distribution has become hard in the time of COVID. She is hoping that she can get back to spreading her kindness through her crops as soon as possible. As of a couple weeks ago, she officially earned her Girl Scout Silver Award. Although her project’s paperwork has gone through, she plans to continue helping to give food to those in need as long as she can.