- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

BARGERSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Typical allowance money purchases for children and teenagers might seem obvious: cellphones, computers, possibly some video games.

Eleven year-old Jacob Tallman, son of Bloomington and Bedford natives Heather and Matt Tallman, used his allowance money to purchase a rain barrel for his garden earlier this month. The Bargersville child’s $120 purchase was featured last week in the Wall Street Journal.

Jacob said the 55-gallon rain barrel has been completely filled from recent rain.

“I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it,” he told The Herald-Times (https://bit.ly/1jKFK1n ).

Jacob said his choice to buy the rain barrel was an easy one after seeing it at a garden show.

“Well, after I’ve gotten my computer and iPad and, you know, everything you ever wanted, I didn’t want to spend anything and save up until I find something I wanted,” he said. Jacob’s weekly $5 allowance comes from chores that usually involve yard work, which does not include tending to the garden.

Jacob said he started his garden earlier this year at the request of his mom. The family built a raised bed near the family’s pond to grow potatoes, squash, lettuce, herbs and wheat.

Even though this is the first year for the garden, Jacob is already thinking of what to do next with his vegetables, possibly making a vegetable salad, he said.

Although Jacob said he is not sure what he would like to save up for next with his allowance, he does have hopes to expand his garden.

“I’ve heard suggestions from my parents that we can make another raised bed. I’d also like to expand the vegetables like carrots and some other vegetables,” he said.

Heather Tallman, a Bloomington High School South graduate, food blogger and contributor to WFIU radio show “Earth Eats,” said the reception from the Wall Street Journal article has been positive. She recalled an email from an elderly Florida man who offered to replenish the money Jacob used to buy the rain barrel in order to buy more seeds for his garden. Tallman said while thankful for the response, the family declined his offer.

Tallman said teaching Jacob and his teenage brother how to purchase items to have responsibility and ownership is inspired by the do-it-yourself lifestyle she and her husband had growing up.

“Getting my kids involved in that lifestyle has to do with my upbringing in Bloomington,” Tallman said.

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Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com


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