New youth working in the garden

Claire, Say Eh Paw, Eh Soe looking at peppers.

By Birch

This week was our first week with new youth! We started the day with a survey created by Farming Concrete. Once everybody was there I held an egg carton out with various mood adjectives and everybody chose one at the beginning and the end. We plan to use it as a tool to measure the way out garden effects the members of it’s community.

peter hesitantly tries a lemon cucumber bit

After that we got to work. To start off the day we did a scavenger hunt of sorts. Each visitor was given 5-6 small signs with plant names on them and asked to go around the garden identifying plants. Afterward we did a full tour of the garden and correctly identified everything.

Kalil know where to put the carrot sign…

Cameron correctly labels some onions.

We had four tasks for the new youth to do after the scavenger hunt: watering, weeding, planting, and compost turning. I had Kalil and Cameron on planting duty. We planted kale and arugula in what once was the lettuce bed.

Carefully pouring arugula seeds into Kalils hand. 

baby cuke discovered with flower still attached.

Mimi, Lucy and Say Eh Paw watered the entire garden. Some things needed mini-moats made under them to help catch water.

Say Eh Paw makes a well around a strawberry plant.

Peter and Eh Soe stepped up to turn the compost. They surprisingly finished the quickest out of all of us. But it wasn’t easy work in the full sun.

When I say turn, I mean they used forks to get our piles of compost from one bin to the other. Not an easy job, but a job well done.

Peter and Eh Soe likely second guessing their decision to turn compost in 80 degree weather.

Claire took Louis, and Becca; they saved seeds. This job took, surprisingly enough, the longest to complete. We all pitched in with it when our individual tasks were done. We saved an edible flower seed called bachelors button or cornflower. The cornflower’s seeds were surrounded by chaff (dried non-seed flower bits) which was simple enough to blow off.

Not pictured, Claire getting lots of chaff in her nose.

The real challenge came from the chives. Chive seeds art jet black and the size of chia seeds, maybe a touch smaller. They're held in flowers that blew away when we tried to blow off the chaff. So, we had to pick them out almost individually and very carefully blow as much chaff off as possible. It was meticulous, but much more fun than it sounds. It was really funny seeing those of us who worked with the cornflowers covered more with chaff than actual clothing!

To wrap up the day we had a bug hunt! Everybody walked around the garden and found 1 or two interesting bugs. Say Eh Paw might be a bug whisperer because she had 3-4 bugs in her mason jar.

Pre-activity setup.

Louis looks at Say Eh Paws jar.

Not pictured: Eh Soe’s aphids.
Kalil and Lucy counting their bounty.

Bekah and Say Eh Paw identifying a leaf.

All in all it was a good day to be at “Da Garden”!

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