Yesterday was a busy day. It started with the CHAD SUP group coming to the garden at 1:45pm. We’re exited to know that they’ll be with us weekly. The kids proved their interest in Emelie’s spiel last week by naming all sorts of different plants and herbs that we made them identify as a way to test if they had been paying attention. They were also super excited to see that some of the seeds they planted before had already sprouted. Most of them were really enthusiastic about doing garden work. They all proved to be great ‘onion thinners’ and ‘compost turners.’ By the end of the visit, Becky and I challenged them again to try new vegetables and/or fruits… Hopefully they were listening because by this point everyone seemed pretty tired. We’re already brainstorming on what to do next time!
Then, workday went incredibly well. A great amount of people from the Summer School showed up eager to get their hands dirty. We did tons of things around the Garden: harvesting garlic and turnips, planting more parley and some rosemary, weeding, more onion thinning, turning the soil in beds, thinning of dead peas in an effort to save them from the hot temperatures, watering, amongst others. Because we’re getting good amounts of produce to harvest, we made a big salad to to reward ourselves for all the hard work. It lacked ingredients (no worries, tomatoes and peppers are coming soon!), but it was still delicious and extremely refreshing. We’ll be having more produce in the future so don’t miss out on our reward snacks! Thanks for all your help!
After the workday, Movie Night ensued. We watched the suspenseful and captivating movie The Prestige. Remember that we’ll be having movie nights all Fridays from 8pm on (it’s getting dark enough to start the movies around 8:15pm,), EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO COME! Check out our listings on the Events section of the website.
last, but not least: YOGA, YOGA, YOGA! Every Tuesday.
Through this post I also wanted to announce that we’ll be having YOGA CLASSES every Tuesday at 6pm, starting next Tuesday, July 10th. The lovely, amazing, and SUPER awesome Kelly Robinson will be our instructor. She’s volunteered to offer the course open to all public at no cost… It’s too great for me to believe, but it’s happening. The Garden will find its way to repay her. I’M PSYCHED!
Earlier this week I was contacted by a fellow Georgian spending her summer in Cambridge. She is working with a SUP (Summer Urban Program) group. Her group has workshops on Friday afternoons and we were lucky enough to be chosen as one of their destinations.
Meredith, fellow Georgian, asked if she could bring the kids and have them help us out with our crops. I was extremely excited, and immediately tried to get some ideas together for activities that we could do with the kids.
The first thing I thought about was eating. Kids love to eat. At the moment there aren’t too many things that are ready to eat in the garden, however the herbs are growing bountifully.
I decided that we could have an herb tasting. I collected samples of several of our herbs, including chives, basil and mint. After introducing the garden, I had the kids taking a little piece of the various herbs, one at a time, and taste it. What did they think? What did it remind them of? What foods that they eat regularly had similar flavors?
Well the chives didn’t go over so well. I think the onion-y flavor did appeal to them. But most of the other herbs were a hit, especially the mint! They were very enthused by the chocolate mint that we grow, talking about how it tasted like mint chocolate chip ice cream.
After warming up our taste buds, I took them on a brief tour of the garden. We pulled some radishes out of the bed and when the small fuchsia orbs appeared, the kids’ eyes stretched in amazement.
Soon we came to our mystery bed. Again this is the bed where Fran and I dumped a bin of random seeds that we found in the shed to see what would happen. This is where the kids began there scavenger hunt. After examining the plants in the mystery bin, they ran around the garden; scouring the beds to find the matching leaf, stem or flower.
We headed back to the picnic table to talk about seeds. I brought out our seed library and asked the kids what they would like to plant. The top picks were watermelon and sugar snap peas. Yesterday I had cleared out a large bed for us to use. With seeds in hand, the kids dug their fingers into the soil and gently placed their seeds in the holes.
We then passed around watering cans to nourish our newly planted seeds.
Next week the kids will be back and hopefully most of their seeds will have germinated.
Also I hope there are more sugar snap peas ready to be eaten. They couldn’t stop eating them
This past Wednesday afternoon, we were visited by the Phillips Brooks House Association after school program, the Roxbury Youth Initiative! RYIT is an afters chool program for elementary and middle school students in Roxbury, Boston:
PBHA’s Roxbury Youth Initiative Term-Time strives to provide continuous, year-round academic and emotional support to youth of our summer program (Roxbury Youth Initiative). Our main focus is on homework and academic help and providing a safe, educational space for youth after the school day. We follow a model of positive youth development, seeking to build on youths’ strengths and community assets. Through hands on enrichment activities and field trips, RYIT allows participating youth to explore their neighborhood, gain academic skills and confidence, and learn from positive role models.
Together with the students, we discussed the things plants need to grow, the development of fruit, the make-up and process of composting, how some plants can grow during the winter, and how to start your own seedling. We also planted Mountain Mint in peat pots!
The students examined strawberry plants and flowers, pea plants and pea tendrils, the small vines that the peas use to grip onto other things, such as a trellis. The trip was a fun success, and we hope to see RYI come back in the summer!