At Veggielution, ensuring our local youth understand where their food comes from and connecting them with the earth is of critical importance to us. We invite you to learn more about our programs, and hope to see you at our Youth Garden and/or School Garden soon!
Veggielution’s Youth Garden continues to bustle with activity, and nowhere is that more apparent than with the arrival of spring. As the flowers bloom and the butterflies arrive, Saturday mornings fill with families eager to participate in a rainbow of activities. No two Saturdays are ever the same, each day and participant as singularly unique and beautiful as the blossoms they tend.
“What I like best about the Youth Garden is that we can learn all about the world around us and discover things about nature.” – Ixayana, 4th grade.
Mornings begin with a series of necessary tasks intended to both maintain the garden and instruct burgeoning young gardeners in the importance of said tasks, such as watering, weeding, and turning the compost. Staff and interns work alongside participants, teaching them about decomposers, plant parts, and weed species.
“I bring my daughter here because it’s important to me that she gets exposed to the natural world. We’re in the city now, but I grew up around farms and gardens and I want to make sure she can have that experience.” – Father of youth participant
The second half of the morning always varies as we cook up an exciting garden-themed activity for the young, eager hands. So far our youth have experienced:
- “Tasting a Rainbow” – Youth harvest their own natural, multicolored salad ingredients and work together to prepare a salad while learning about the nutritional benefits of different colored vegetables.
- Insect Scavenger Hunt – Youth search for insects in the garden and learn about how they benefit the environment through the ecological roles that they play, such as pollination and decomposition.
- Beeswax Birthday Candles – Youth learn how to make beeswax candles, gaining a new appreciation for bees as well as the benefits of natural waxes.
We are so gratified when the children coming through our Youth Garden start to understand and appreciate where their food is coming from and the importance of taking care of our environment.
To donate to our Youth Garden efforts, click here.
THE SCHOOL GARDEN AT APTITUDE COMMUNITY ACADEMY
Veggielution is proud to announce its third year of partnership with Aptitud Community Academy (formerly Mildred Goss Elementary). In the final the year of a grant-funded school garden program funded by the Health Trust, Veggielution has provided 250 students in grades 3rd-6th with hands-on ecology and nutrition lessons in the school’s outdoor garden classroom. With childhood obesity at record levels, this has been a fantastic opportunity to educate young students about the joys of working outdoors and the importance – not to mention deliciousness! – of healthy eating habits.
“I like coming to the garden during recess because it’s so peaceful here.” – 3rd grader
This year Veggielution will also provide:
- “Family Garden Time” – Once per week, Veggielution will provide an after-school opportunity for families to help care for the garden, adopt a plot, and harvest produce to take home.
- Garden Parties – seasonal Saturday festive occasions for big work projects.
- Parent Workshops – an Introduction to Gardening workshop for parents in Spanish (en español).
- Field Trips – Students get to put their garden lessons into context during field trips to Veggielution and see the workings of a small-scale farm in their neighborhood.
With no more grants for the school year ahead (starting Fall 2015), Veggielution is also preparing to turn the garden’s ongoing management over to the school’s individual classrooms and grade levels.