We are already almost half way through our summer break! The spring storms have been good to our gardens at Gateway Greening. We are harvesting beautiful produce and having a great time in the garden. Summer programs are also enjoying planting, watering,harvesting, and other tasks that are necessary to maintain a garden.
At one of our summer sites, we have been busy with a garden that seems like it is getting larger every week and kids who are eager to see the results of their hard work. So far this week, we have tackled some important tasks. Today, we noticed there were a few sweet potato beds that were not growing as healthy as we had hoped. While this usually isn’t ideal, it gave the kids an opportunity to test the soil. This lesson involved teaching the kids what nutrients are in ideal soil and necessary for growing healthy plants. Kids dug up soil samples from the sad beds, added and mixed in water, waited for the soil to settle, and used a soil testing kit to test for nutrient deficiencies. As we were waiting for the results, a group of three ladies were busy picking, chopping, mixing and taste testing. We enjoyed this cloudy mid 70s weather with a bowl of fresh salad from the garden. They used dinosaur kale, cucumbers, carrots, snap peas, green bell peppers, broccoli, and strawberries all from the garden. They added pieces of pineapples, a simple dressing, and a cracker on the side. The three young ladies who put this salad together couldn’t keep their hands off of the ingredients as they were making it. The salad seemed to go over well, and if the kids didn’t like it they picked out the ingredients they did like. The children learned that using the food they were growing is simple and delicious. What are you using your garden goodies for?
The soil was taking longer than we expected to produce results, but hopefully we can come up with a solution for our sweet potato beds soon.
– Claire Hagarty, Youth Program Intern