The Dangers of TikTok and “Influencer” Children

By: Hannah Goodwin

Social media can be a scary place for children and families. Because of this, many parents are now recognizing the risks that come with fame from TikTok.

“Sharenting” is a term that was created to describe parents who regularly share their children on social media platforms. Sharenting is a term that can be seen as a negative thing in today’s world. Children today are “born into” social media and do not get to choose what parts of their lives are shared with the world.

Another thing to consider before posting your child on social media is “digital kid-napping”. This is when people on the internet take photos of children that parents have posted. This allows for a person to take the pictures and give the child a new name and identity online. The child then becomes a whole new person and personality because they were posed on the internet, innocently, by their parent. This can clearly lead to many issues as the child grows up and if they are not aware of this online form of “kid-napping”.

Viral mother daughter duo, Laura and Lena, are a prime example of this in today’s world. Their account started out as a silly little place where mom, Laura, could share the funny daily things that Lena would say. These videos were short and sweet, but people on the internet fell in love with this little girl who could put a smile on anyone’s face.

Laura (left) and Lena (right) at a birthday party (2022)

Laura and Lena’s platform began to explode from a video on mothers day in 2021. This video showed little Lena or “Wena”, as she would refer to herself, giving mom a bunch of flowers as a morning surprise. From then on out, they continued to share their life stories and expose their daughter to the internet regularly.

After about two full years of creating content with her daughter and new son, Sam, Laura made the tough decision to take her children off the platform all together. In March of 2023 they posted a goodbye video to share how thankful they were for the amazing community that they were able to create.

Here is a video of Laura explaining their exit in more detail:

Laura explaining her exit from TikTok in detail (2023)

Laura and Lena are just one example of removing children from social media. Mada Graviet is another mom who used to regularly post her son, Rez, online. 

Mada (left) and Rez (right) posing for a selfie (2022)

As Rez has gotten older he is now able to express his feelings. Mada has spoken publicly about how if he is asking not to be recorded, then she will not take videos of him. As a mom, listening and respecting children should be your first priority. These children did not sign up for the viral sensations that they have become and the parents are slowly coming to this realization.

Not only are some children asking to not be recorded, but there are other issues that should be considered when it comes to safety. The internet can be a scary place, especially for children.

Posting young kids online for the world to see brings up both moral and ethical issues. The world we live in has a lot of bad things going on. Posting where your child goes everyday, what activities they are involved in, and so many other personal aspects of a child’s life can lead to dangerous outcomes. 

Wren Eleanor is an example of this. Wren Eleanor is a three year old girl who was posted on TikTok by her parents. Suddenly, on videos where she is eating a hot dog or wearing certain clothes there are hundreds of “saves”. “Saving” means that you can easily go back and watch this video as many times as you want. This sparked concern for her mother and she had to make the tough choice to remove her from the platform. Ethically and morally, her mom made a choice that was in her daughters best interest. Not what was best for fame or publicity. What once started out as an innocent place for her mom to share videos with family, sadly turned out to be a place that is dangerous for her daughter.

You never know who is watching or what that person’s ultimate goal is from watching young children online. Many people, like myself, love watching these families for entertainment and a good laugh. Sadly, many people watch for the wrong reasons. 

I applaud all the families who are taking time away from TikTok to prioritize their children in safe ways.


Retrieved from:

Peonies are beautiful long-living perennial plants with blooms that are unmatched. Some of these lively flowers have been known to thrive for at least 100 years! Peonies can be enjoyed from spring to summer, and brighten up any garden with their full petals and vibrant colors. They are also perfectly suited for flower arrangements, with their gorgeous presentation in vases. (

Seed Starting Advice: Peonies are best planted in the fall, specifically late September and October. They are usually sold as bare-root tubers with 3 to 5 bulbs. To plant be sure to dig a generous-sized hole, at about 2 feet deep and 2 feet across in well drained soil. The spot must be sunny as they flourish with 6-8 hours of sunlight each day. The root should be placed with the eyes facing upwards, on top of a mound of soil in the hole. Be sure to place the roots just two inches below the soil surface. Then backfill the hole, tap the soil gently, and water thoroughly at the time of planting. (Farmers Almanac)

Growing Advice: It is best to space peonies about 3-4 feet apart to promote good air circulation between plants. This is crucial because stagnant air build up may occur and can lead to disease. Peonies may also be prone to structural weakness due to their gigantic blossoms. To address this consider three-legged metal peony rings or wire tomato cages to support the stems.

Harvesting Advice: Peonies make beautiful cut flowers, lasting over a week within a base. Be sure to use a sharp pair of pruners, and gently cut the flowers at an angle. For best results, cut the long stem in the morning when buds are fairly tight. Remove the leaves from the portion of the stem, and then place them in the vase with lukewarm water. (Farmers Almanac)

Arrangements: Due to peonies having a round shape, they pair beautifully with spike bloomers. Flowers like foxglove, lupine, delphinium, and clustered bellflower.

Photo by: (Urban Stems)

Written by Claudia Mirshak

Ward Acres Community Garden/WACG

Written by: Ethan Cuggino-Zensky

I remember when I was in elementary school, we joined a community garden called Ward Acres. We didn’t have much sun in our backyard, so we decided to grow our plants there. Because the garden was new, it didn’t have running water initially. So we filled jugs of water and brought them there every other day or as needed at the end of the day, and  depending on the weather. We did this for a couple of years. Finally, the garden got running water, which made life easier. I couldn’t wait to go there on summer evenings. It was a joy to observe things grow. One of the major things we grew were Italian Pole beans. We used a trellis so vines could wrap around it and grow upwards to have more space. The leaves were large and they grew very quickly. We planted seeds one inch down and four inches apart around the trellis. We planted our seeds at the end of  March or early April when the temperature was warm enough.

When the beans were ripe for picking, we could harvest large amounts. My mother sauteed  the pole beans in garlic and oil and mixed them with potatoes or ate them straight. We also grew rosemary. We grew four rosemary plants to frame the trellis for the beans. The rosemary would be used as a garnish for chicken dinners. Opposite to the rosemary was basil. 

My mother used it in tomato sauce. I remember the strong scent of the basil and rosemary. These herbs were easy to grow like the beans. When growth was slowing down in the fall, we harvested everything.  All remaining rosemary and basil that we collected got washed, sealed, and frozen in ziploc bags to be used all winter. That’s what I remember most, that we could use them all winter. Lastly, we planted Salvia Farinacea, which is not an herb. It is a tall blue spiky flower that we planted  around the border of our 15 by 15 plot. Those plants lasted through November even after all of our other plants would die. 

   Since that time, the garden has grown in the number of participants. People have also donated benches and artistic art sculptures. Many people now go there to sit, relax and observe our beautiful community garden!


Overview: Thyme is in the mint family. Thyme is well known for its fragrant smell and strong flavor. 

Planting: You should plan on planting your thyme in the spring, when the frost is done. Thyme thrives in well drained and fertile soil. It needs to be in a sunny area. You can grow thyme from a seed or you can grow it from an already existing plant. If you are growing from an already existing plant, you need to space the plant 12”-24” apart. If growing from a seed, you should start it in a pot in the early spring and scatter the seeds over the soil, then cover with a thin layer of soil and lightly water. (Source: Bonnie Plants)

Growing Advice: In order to thrive, you need to grow thyme in a sunny and warm environment. The more sunlight the crop receives, the stronger the flavor will be. (Source: Love the Garden)  

Harvesting: On average, thyme will be ready to harvest between 75 and 90 days of planting. However, some varieties take up to 200 days until they are ready to harvest.  You should plan to harvest your thyme before the flowers bloom. Cut the top 5-6” of the plant. The best time of day to harvest thyme is in the morning after the dew has dried. (Source: Thyme)

Retrieved from: How to Culinary Herb Garden

Thyme Roasted Potatoes

Check out this recipe for Thyme Roasted Potatoes. This is one of the simplest and easiest sides if you want to impress a crowd. This is one of my favorite sides to make when our thyme is ready to harvest. 


  • 2 pounds of your choice of potatoes (I like baby red potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Optional: fresh garlic and lemon slices for added flavor


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Wash and slice your potatoes
  3. In a large bowl, add your potatoes, olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper and mix 
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the potatoes out evenly. If you halved your potatoes, make sure they are flat side down to ensure a crisp
  5. Roast the potatoes for 30 minutes, at 15 minutes, add the parmesan cheese 
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and toss them with fresh thyme, add another drizzle of olive oil and use a spoon to carefully mix
  7. Optional: squeeze the lemon wedges on for a tangy flavor

Written by Lexi Lescovitz


Have you ever thought about planting flowers? Roses? Dandelions? Sunflowers? What about Cosmos? These beautiful flowers are one of a kind. Cosmos truly are one of the most underrated flowers. Did you know these flowers represent peace and love? Lets learn some more about cosmos!

What soil should I use when planting Cosmos?

When planting cosmos, one should use soil that is not too rich and not too thin. This can be classified as Well- draining soil. Cosmos grow best in neutral to alkaline soils, this soil has a pH of 7.0-7.5. (Source: Almanac)

When do I plant Cosmos?

Cosmos grow in warm dry weather. Oftentimes Cosmos are found in a drought-like environment. Cosmos should be direct sow seeds, meaning, they should be planted directly in the garden, as opposed to buying them in small plants and storing them inside. Cosmos can be planted in any garden bed, planting them no more than 1/4- inch deep. (Source: Almanac) Cosmos should be planted in a place that has full access to the sun.

How much water should I give my Cosmo?

Watering your Cosmo once a week is the ideal amount of water the flower should be receiving. Overall cosmos should receive about two gallons of water per week.

Growing advice:

When planting make sure to keep each seedling 12-18 inches apart from another. This prevents each flower from “running into one another”. Cosmos can grow up to 60 inches tall, so it is important to take this into consideration so each flower grows beautifully. If you opt to grow your Cosmo in a pot, ensure to purchase a pot that has bottom draining holes. (Source: The spruce) Unfortunately  it has been shown that grasshoppers, aphids, thrips, and lygus plant bugs can infect cosmo plants. These insects will eat at cosmos for a nice lunch! To prevent this from happening one can wipe or spray the leaves with a solution of water and a couple drops of dish soap. This should be reapplied every 2-3 days for 2 weeks.

Harvesting advice:

When harvesting, one can cut the flowers off anytime after blooming. It is best to pick some off right when the petals have opened. After cutting the flowers once they’re done blooming, they will last over a week in water. To store them strip the lower leaves and put them in a vase (Source: Almanac).

Written By: Beth Rizzuto


Overview: These snout-like dragon-shaped flowers are perfect for your garden and come in almost every color in a saturated hue.

Snapdragons, also known as Antirrhinum majus, are common garden flowers in the cool season. They can easily grow in most gardens but do not last long. Snapdragons have a definitive shape to the flower head, “which resembles the snout of a dragon, and which even opens and close in a snapping motion, as often happens when pollinators open the jaws to reach the pollen” (The Spruce- Snapdragons: Plant Care & Growing Guide, By Marie Iannotti). Bumble bees are the prime source of pollination because they can open the flower’s jaws. Snapdragons can be only a few inches tall but can also sprout up to about 4 feet tall. They are typically purchased in seedlings because they have a long start-up process when planted from the original seed.

Conditions For Snapdragons: They need to be planted in a moist, well-drained area. They can receive full to partial sun and they typically will only sprout in the cool spring and fall only if kept hydrated throughout the hot summer months. Snapdragons need lots of water to keep moist and a pretty neutral soil ph level of around 6-7.

Other Uses: Snapdragons are not only pretty flowers in your garden pots or dried-up in-home decor, but they also have beneficial uses for humans. They extract edible oils that are known to be anti-inflammatory for the skin and body as well as used in modern herbal medicines “for treating several symptoms and diseases, including watery eyes, gum scurvy, hemorrhoids, ulcers, liver disorder, and tumors” (Source: National Library of Medicine)

Snapdragon ready to be pollinated with an open mouth


Overview: Corn is a vegetable that comes in many colors but primarily yellow and white. Corn is usually classified based on the shape of the kernel of the corn as well as the texture. There are four main types of corn according to the Almanac such as sugary sweet corn, sugar enhanced corn, shrunken corn and synergistic corn.

Freshly picked corn (Flickr)

Seed Starting: It is not recommended to start growing corn seeds inside. It should be planted outside in warm weather and the soil temperature matters depending on what type of corn you are trying to grow. If attempting to grow in colder temperatures, place plastic over the soil and plant the seeds through holes in the plastic.

Sow seeds about 1½ to 2 inches deep and 2 to 4 inches apart in short, side-by-side rows to form a block, rather than one long row.

For decent pollination, we recommend a modest block of, say, 10 to 50 plants.

You may choose to fertilize at planting time with a 10-10-10 fertilizer; corn is meant to grow rapidly. If you are confident that the soil is adequate, this step can be skipped.

Water well at planting time.


Growing Advice: Since corn takes a long time to grow it is recommended that you plant early and then plant farther along into the season to make sure that it grows. Early season corn will grow faster than late season corn which might take the whole season to grow. 

Harvesting: Corn is usually harvested best 2-3 weeks before the first fall frost. To lengthen the season of growing corn it is suggested after the first few weeks of planting that you plant another round of seeds. Corn takes around 80-100 days to grow according to the University of Vermont’s Zone 5-6 Planting Schedule.  (Source:

Recipe for Summer Corn Salad


  • 2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, cored
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 4 large ears corn, cooked
  • 2 cups small red new potatoes, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon or white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cut peppers into thin strips; then, in a medium-sized skillet, saute over high heat in 2 tablespoons of the oil until peppers are browned in spots. Set aside. Cut corn from the cob and dice potatoes fairly small. Mix remaining 1/3 cup of oil with onion, herbs, mustard, soy sauce, and vinegar. Stir in the peppers, then add the remaining vegetables and season to taste. Stir well and chill in a tightly covered 2-quart bowl for at least 2 hours, so flavors have a chance to blend. This salad will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.

Written by Jacob Hyjek

The Mulberry Tree

Going into my driveway and seeing that the mulberry tree was blooming and there were birds chirping were some of the best days of my life. The sun was shining and the glorious tree had so many berries on it. Running into the house to get something to hold them with, I grab my grandmother and run outside. My grandparents lived in Merrimac Massachusetts, and I lived with them for most of my early childhood. These memories of living there were some of the best.

Unripened mulberries. Credit: K. Dave

The berries were sour and sweet on this huge tree but I loved them nonetheless. We would pick them and step on the ones that were falling into the ground, and sometimes I would sneak and eat some without washing them first. But in my mind, that was the best way to eat them. Every day that the tree had berries on it I would steal them and eat them away. Sometimes I would use them to play with my toys and fake “cook” with them with sticks and rocks. The birds seemed to love this tree just as much as I did. They would sit in the tree picking away at the fruit and leave the ones that fell on the ground for people to step on without knowing.

Later on, the tree was cut down because it was not fully on our property. The lot next to us planned to build apartments and he wanted to sell the land. That was one very sad day. My tree was leaving me, and I would never eat those berries the same way again. It felt like my childhood was over, I was growing up and so was the tree. This made me learn from an early age to not take things for granted and to always appreciate the things around us before they’re gone. 

Ready to pick! Credit: Florida Fruit Geek

Mulberries look a lot like blackberries, but they do not taste the same at all! I would say mulberries can be sweeter and maybe even a little harder than the average blackberry. People tend to use mulberries in the same way as every other berry, on top of yogurt, in pies, on ice cream, etc. They just are not seen, or appreciated, as much as your regular berry.

Mulberry Jam! Credit: SustainMyCraftHabit

Written by Gwenyth Faino

Growing Up With Gardening

Growing up I was surrounded by gardeners, from my mom working at ocean spray growing cranberries to my cousin’s vegetable garden, my whole extended family has roots in gardening. This connection we all share originated with my grandparents Mary and Joe. My grandparents had a love for all things green. They grew their own vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees. My aunts and uncles grew up helping pick things from the garden and helping to weed out the two industrial sized greenhouses my grandparents attached to their home.

My own experience in my grandparents garden is not a unique one, but one that I share with my brother and cousins as well. I was babysat by my grandparents often just like my relatives and in this time I would learn everything I know today about gardening. My favorite part was heading out to the garden with my grandma on a hot summer day rummaging through all sorts of vines and plants to find the biggest, roundest, and reddest tomatoes to pick. Once I found around five perfect tomatoes I would move on to the biggest, greenest, shiniest peppers I could find. After roughly five of the peppers, covered in dirt and sweat I would then move to cucumbers and finally bring my picks of the bunch to my grandmother to inspect in Shaws bags. She would select the ones to bring inside for herself and I got to lay out the rest on their “free” cart that she had parked right next to the garden. Here neighbors and friends could stop by and grab anything they wanted from the cart. This was my favorite part. I loved watching people come stop by to take the vegetables that I picked myself.

My grandparents were a huge influence on my family as far as gardening and giving us all the gift of a green thumb. They even created a family holiday just for us called “planting day” where we would all meet in the spring to plant the seeds for their huge garden. This collectively was one of everyone in my extended family’s holidays. It meant so much to me and more than my grandparents could have imagined.

Written by Marj Tobin


Written by Caroline Howland

These beautiful orange and yellow annuals symbolize good luck and happiness.

Marigolds add bright color to gardens and also attract insects so they are typically planted near vegetables so they can keep aphids and beetles from eating crops. They are popular because they bloom all summer long.

Plant from Seed: Marigolds are tolerant of wet to dry soil but do best in well-drained, fertile soil. Pick a spot with full sun, once the soil is warm in the spring it’s time to plant. Dig soil 6 inches down to loosen. Moisten the soil and then plant seeds 1 inch deep, 1 inch apart. Seeds can be started indoors or outdoors. The seeds should sprout within a week.

Plant from transplants: plant directly into loosened soil, at least 8 inches apart. Water each flower as you plant. Choose a sunny spot where the soil drains well.

Taking Care of Marigold flowers: water at the base of the plant when the soil is dry. Pinch off the tops of the growing plant to make the flower bushier and promote more blooms. If the blooms are dead, pinch off the flower to the nearest leaf.

Varieties of Marigolds: these flowers come in a variety of colors ranging from creamy white to golden orange. Some are larger than others. French marigolds, American marigolds and African marigolds are the most popular. The French variety are smaller than the others.

Tiny Hearts Farm marigold arrangement

Using Marigolds: Marigolds can be cut and added to any flower arrangement but they are commonly dried because of their ability to keep their color. Hang the cut flowers upside down until the flowers are dry and they can be used for fragrance to homemade soaps, oils or lotions. They can also be kept as a dried bundle.