Every Thursday evening during summer, families and children gather at Rose Avenue School Garden. With the summer evening drop-in program now in its fourth year at Rose Avenue, word is spreading among St. James Town residents and participation is increasing. Here’s a glimpse of some of the fresh greens and herbs from the harvest.
Last week a record number of people – both adults and children – dropped in at the garden. Over the course of the evening about 30 children and 15 adults joined in for garden work, watering, weeding and picking.
Our school garden at Rose Avenue is in a pretty shady location – with trees, the school and nearby apartment buildings casting shadows over the plants and limiting the varieties of vegetables that will grow well at this site. The shade didn’t stop us from harvesting a bounty at Rose Avenue last Thursday, though.
Among the crops picked were dinosaur kale, red russian kale, flatleaf parsley, genovese basil, green amaranth (a.k.a. spinach), lambsquarters, sorrel (sour leaf), dill, mustard greens, hot peppers, swiss chard, beet greens and fresh rhubarb.
While the fenced-in garden on the west side of the school was bustling with activity, another group of children watered and planted seeds in the raised beds (made of earthblocks) on the east side of the school. Our new garden bed has been planted with bush beans, coriander, dill and carrot seeds.
This summer our garden programs are happening in collaboration with Youth Voices Research Network’s Food For Health project. Of a team of eight youth hired by Youth Voices and Green Thumbs Growing Kids, four of them have been helping to coordinate the garden drop-in program at Rose. Without their help it wouldn’t be possible!
We look forward to another fresh and tasty harvest at Rose Avenue school garden next week!