Intern Reflections: Youth Grow Local Farm

We garden rain or shine at the Youth Grow Local Farm!!  The weather has been unpredictable these last few weeks, but we continue to get things planted, mulched, eaten and cared for in the gardens.  Today our summer group was joined by more middle schoolers from MSCR's Mad Youth program, so we got a lot done!

We started out picking potato beetles off of the plants so that we will actually have some potatoes to eat in the fall!  We filled cups with beetles of various sizes (ages) and with leaves that had neon orange eggs on them.  Some brave souls squish them right on the leaves, but most of us fill the cups and then take them to the nearest sidewalk to stomp out.  Rains came as we were beetle picking, but we worked on through the shower…   The other half of the group was battling weeds in several beds that have been taken over by thistle--hard work!!

Youth picking beetles in garden

Hunting for potato beetles - a daily activity at this time of year!

The Vegetables of the Week were radishes and peas!  Maureen talked about how peas are important for putting nitrogen in the soil, what other veggies are in the same family (beans and clover!), and how to tell which pea pods are ready to pick.  We also learned that peas like cool weather, which is why they are one of the earlier crops planted.  Another special veggie that loves cool weather is….the radish!  Howard talked about the Red Globe Radishes that are ready to eat at the Youth Farm--some accurate descriptions were "juicy," "hot", and "spicy!"  We will continue to choose vegetables to highlight and learn more about each week.

adult with radishes

Howard talking about radishes

child with painted pea sign in garden

Installing the new painted pea sign in the garden

We continued painting garden signs today that will label the abundant rows of vegetables (and some fruit) that grow at the Youth Farm.  The kids are getting really good at identifying plants without the signs, but these will be great for visitors and newcomers.  They bring even more color and vibrance to the rows!  

youth with painted basil sign

Yum.  We have been making lunches and snacks here at the garden with Sarah's direction--today was garlic scape pesto on crackers!  It was spicy, garlicy, and very delicious.  Most of the kids tried it, and many went back for more!  Some other featured items have been:  strawberry vinaigrette salad, hummus to dip peapods and radishes, and spring rolls with lettuce and herbs from the garden.

In addition to all this, we've also planted beds of corn, beans, replanted broccoli and cabbage, trellised peas and tomatoes, woodchipped paths and perimeters, picked garlic scapes, weeded, mulched and more!  So far so good Youth Farm!

~ written by Anna King, Youth Grow Local Farm intern



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