|The winter was spent planning the garden|
In January teens working at MAP used seed catalogs to pick three fruits, vegetables or flowers each to plant in the garden. They chose crops that were inexpensive, and did not take a long time to grow. Buffalo has a short growing season, so all the crops chosen had to reach maturity within that time. A long list of crops was narrowed down to just twenty. In late winter many seeds were started indoors under grow lights. Teens were responsible for the care and watering of the seedlings. When it was warm enough, around May, the seedlings were transplanted outside in the garden according to the garden plan.
|The final garden plan|
The first thing done during the summertime program was taste all of the different vegetables that were growing in the garden. There were 24 crops growing in the garden this year including: watermelon, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes. The vegetables and fruits harvested during the summer were cooked in our staff lunch on Fridays.
|Not much was growing in the early spring.|
This school year MAP youth worked on the garden and learned how to use common garden tools including: shovels, pitch forks, hoes and hands! More conventional tools were used to fix the raised beds, and prepare them for the winter. Garden beds are covered with leaves, and topped off with fresh, nutrient-rich compost. A major fall construction project was building compost bins. They are now filled with all the dying plants in the garden and lots of leaves. The plant matter will break down over the winter and be used on the garden in the next year. Last week garlic was planted in the garden for next years' summer lunches.
|Fall in the garden|
In the future, we are going to add more growing space to MAP's garden by building more raised beds. We would like to plant more fruits, like strawberries and raspberries, so we can provide fruits for our summer lunches.
This post was written by the following MAP youth: