Just another awesome day at the garden

We’ve been very fortunate with the weather this summer. After a torrential rain storm on Friday we arrived on a beautifully sunny morning with the garden already well watered.

Our two incredible adult gardeners, Louise and Dolores, unfortunately could not make it out but we were immediately greeted by garden regulars (Laniya, Javar, Lavar) and some faces we hadn’t seen in a few weeks (Hakim, Hakeira, Derrin, Jamil).

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We started off the day with an icebreaker. We went around in a circle and said our name and favorite food. As we went around, each person had to say, not only their own name and favorite food, but what everyone before them said as well. This prompted most of the kids to race to the front of the line but Derrin bravely volunteered to go last. Here’s what we learned: Jenny likes peaches (Derrin’s immediate response was “that’s not a food!”, I think we’ll be having a peach snack break soon), Michelle like strawberries, Rebecca likes pizza, Laniya likes chicken, Hakim likes fries, Jamil likes cornbread, Hakeira likes spaghetti, Eric likes blueberries, Kavi likes raspberries, and Derrin likes burgers.

We’ll be keeping this in mind as we plan our harvest dinner in September. Looks like we’ll be making good use of our tomatoes (and we will have A LOT of tomatoes).

The water issue is still in progress. Everyone involved is working hard and we are waiting for word from the Water Authority. We are thinking of installing a water catchment system with rain barrels and we would welcome any ideas on cost-effective ways of implementing that or other thoughts on getting water to the garden.

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In the meantime, we collected empty containers to use as watering jugs and the kids decorated their own.

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After a delicious cantaloupe break, at which time more kids filtered in, the kids planted radish seeds in cups to take home and care for. In two weeks, they’ll transplant their hopefully successful radishes into one of the beds. My own attempt at radish germination did not work this week but the kids probably have greener thumbs than me.

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Jenny, our team-building expert, concluded the morning by gathering all the kids in a “hands-in” circle and led them in a pledge about taking care of their garden (it began with “I solemnly swear…”). I think she came up with it on the spot and it was amazing.

Michelle and I will be heading home next week to North Carolina and California respectively and be back in September, but with Jenny, Kavita, Louise, Dolores, and all the kids, the garden is in more than capable hands.

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By the way, here are the harvest dates for our current crop:

Mesclun Lettuce: Aug 25
Spinach, Radishes: Aug 29
Spinach: Sept 5
Tomatoes, Peppers, Sunflowers: Sept 10
Butterhead Lettuce: Sept 14
Cantaloupe: Oct 1
Pumpkin: Oct 19

If you have any favorite recipes or activity ideas involving these plants (or ideas about our water situation), leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

-Eric

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One response to “Just another awesome day at the garden

  1. Hey folks! Once again, great job– The garden looks great, and I love the hands-in circle pledge (and peaches are definitely a food. By the way, my name’s Uma and I like pasta). It looks like y’all will be pretty busy harvesting come late August.

    As far as water goes, I can tell you what we do out here in the woods of South Carolina, where there is no plumbing or hoses to water all our plants. We have plastic kiddie pools (you know, the small circular plastic pools that you can put in your front yard and fill with a hose for toddlers to play in) that we keep filled with water. When we water our plants, we simply dunk our watering cans in there to gather water. We have to refill ours every week and a half or so, but y’all will probably be okay with less than that. If you can get a cheap kiddie pool and park it nearby your plots, filling it up just once a month might do. Then the rest of the time, you have a store of water right nearby!

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