In April we partnered with RESA Middle School to establish a garden club for the students and their families. The objective of the program was to educate the students on the benefits of growing their own fruits and vegetables. Also, a portion of the vegetables grown will be donated to a local food pantry. RESA had dedicated 4 raised beds from a previous season and opened up some additional bed space (20”x30”) that hadn't been used before.
Because of the Covid pandemic, the raised beds had not been used in over two years. The beds and cinder blocks that framed them had been overgrown with weeds and leftover debris. We decided we wanted to establish a theme for each raised bed. We wanted an herb bed, salad bed, salsa bed, and the final bed would be full of any other vegetables the students wanted to grow.
We purchased the needed compost, seedlings, and other supplies to get started. Next, we gathered the students and leaders and the work began. The raised beds took shape as the team weeded out the beds and disassembled the cinder blocks. Then we started to build our respective themed garden beds. We harvested perennial herbs from the Roots & Wings Garden and brought over extra seedlings to add to what had already been purchased. The vegetables were planted and the beds were ready to flourish.
During our time together the students got a chance to sample the following herbs: Mint, Oregano, Chives, Lemon Verbena, and Sorrel. Of course this was a new experience for many.
As we assembled the beds and during our closing the students shared the following comments:
“I really liked how we worked together as a team to get the job done.”
“I never knew it was possible to grow so many different vegetables and herbs.”
“I can’t wait until you return so we can taste the vegetables we planted!”
It was a fun day and we got a lot accomplished. After my initial visit, we decided that I would do a video session on the various aspects of gardening that could be shared with the students virtually. In the interim the students and their families would maintain the garden in my absence. Unfortunately, because of some unforeseen circumstances the garden hasn’t flourished in the way we had planned. But, we expect to resume meetings this fall to continue the programming we started. I’m looking forward to our next time together.
-Tedd and Yatte
Roots & Wings Farm Director and Farm Manager