Crops are chosen for their ability to thrive in the cooler fall months and include broccoli, cabbage, kale, and spinach. At the beginning of the school year, plants are started in pots (kept either in the shade or in the greenhouse) and then transplanted in cooler weather to the student rows.
Harvest is a celebration that is enjoyed season after season – by kids and teachers alike. Students bring their crops home to their own kitchens. Often this is the most excited kids get over vegetables – because they grow it themselves and are proud of the result! We are often inspired to see how they integrate their harvest into their family meals.
The garden is not certified organic, though we try to use natural approaches to fertilizer, pest control and other gardening issues as possible. Occasionally a conventional salt fertilizer product will be applied in order to let students compare the results of non-organic, commercial organic, and homemade products.
The garden continues in the summer, too, as volunteers from the school and community tend black-eyed peas, purple hull peas, peppers, Swiss chard, okra, a variety of herbs, and other summer favorites. The harvest goes to those who work in the garden – and when possible are sold at area markets to raise program funds.