Pitchforks, Raspberries and More!

**just a note: This entry is about last Saturday, April 25th.  Apologies because we realize there are a couple weeks missing between this post and the last one, and we’ll try to stay more on top of the blog in the future! Also, possibility of pictures to come!**

We had a great day in the garden this past Saturday!  It started with Trey excitedly running along to meet our van, so that was an auspicious beginning.  By the time we got there (10:30ish?), there were already at least seven kids playing around in the huge heap of compost right outside the garden gate, bordering the basketball court. (Compost courtesy of Cuzzy and the Swarthmore Borough!)

There was a slight lull at the beginning of the day when we decided it would be best to put down cardboard before filling in the rest of the beds with compost, but once that was acquired (yay Eric and Zach!) we were in action.  Things naturally settled into three stations – one group by the fence, composed mainly of Swatties, digging holes for and planting raspberry bushes, one group shoveling compost from the pile into wheelbarrows, and another group by the raised beds helping spread the compost being delivered by the second group.

All in all, it was a very successful and productive workday (and long! We went till about two o’clock). Couple highlights:

– Pitchforks: they are a revelation.  They helped enormously in transferring compost from the heap to the wheelbarrow, and are now my favorite tool.

– Manual labor!  There were people vying to be the ones taking the wheelbarrow back and forth (even if some of them could only take a wheelbarrow one-fourth full:]) and everyone worked really hard today with minimal instruction. Mowing the lawn was also a big hit. Snack was well deserved, which brings us to my next point…

– Snack! Snack was strawberries (in honor of the berry bushes) and apples with peanut butter.  The peanut butter was a bit messy, but was devoured in a matter of minutes.  I hear apple is a favorite fruit of many, so we’ll have to keep that in mind for coming weeks.

– Seedlings: Jenny had a little planting party by the shed, and the kids left clutching newly planted and watered seedlings.  It might’ve been spinach, but don’t quote me on that.

– Inter-generational-ness! Not only were the two babies there today, but a lot of the older kids came out to work as well, which was exciting. There was a pretty big group playing basketball right next to us, and I think we developed a kind of rapport by the end of the day with them – a couple of them took turns shoveling and wheelbarrow-ing, despite the good-natured ribbing they were getting over the fence from their buddies. They seemed to enjoy it, so here’s hoping it turns into the new ‘cool thing to do’!

Till next week!

Natali

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