Notes from the Garden: Week 1
It was a fun-filled week in the Frost Valley garden as campers participated in activities ranging from drawing their own dream gardens to a very intense weeding competition that came down to the wire! All campers at Frost Valley Farm Camp spend five 80 minute sessions in the garden where they learn basic organic gardening practices with a focus on celebrating the garden as a vibrant ecosystem.
On Monday, campers designed their own dream gardens. They picked their five favorite vegetables and their favorite geographic location and used their imaginations to design and draw their own gardens that they shared with their peers. A few favorites were the “pie” garden with lots of fruits and other ingredients that are used to bake pies and the smiley face garden with corn for ears. Ears of corn, get it?
On Tuesday, we learned about plant parts and their functions and we discussed the most essential and important part of any garden, the soil. After learning about all of the wonderful things that are found in soil, we made our own potting soil from organic materials that we collected from around the farm and our very own compost.
Wednesday was seeding and transplanting day. We brainstormed different types of recyclable items that can be used as planters and containers to plant herbs and flowers. We collected those items from around the farm and planted lavender, parsley and sage seeds in our very own potting soil. The most creative planters were an old Croc and a basketball shoe. After planting into our container gardens, we transplanted corn, squash and eggplant into the garden. We also direct seeded the next carrots and spinach. We were just in time as all of our seeds and transplants got a good dousing of much-needed rain that evening!
On Thursday, we had a special treat from our neighbor and friend, Derek. He gave us a tour of his beautiful flower garden. Derek, who has lived on the property for his entire life, gave us an interesting history of the farm and the many changes that it has seen. He showed us his beautiful flowers and herbs and talked about many of the native plants and animals that he often sees there. Derek also has a bountiful crop of blueberries that should be ready any time now!
Today was the last day of the gardening rotation for half of our campers. We discussed the different ways to care for the garden using organic techniques that are better for the environment while we weeded the raised beds and prepared them for the next plantings. We also revisited all of the things that we learned by playing Garden Jeopardy. The game spurred a lot of very interesting conversation about the importance of knowing our food source and the ways that young people can contribute to ensuring that everyone has access to wholesome and nutritious food.
Let’s hear it for all of my fabulous gardeners this week!