Today was our first day at the food bank garden We thought the rain would spoil our plans, but the clouds and thunder passed by quickly, so we decided to head on over. The garden is very close to downtown, but once you get to the garden (which is on the grounds of a larger farm, which is part of a larger campus....), it's like being in the middle of the country. You can't see or hear the city - just rolling hills, green grass, trees, and cows. It's wonderful!
Tonight Mister J and I worked for about an hour, and then spent another 20 minutes or so just exploring different areas of the garden. Big J and Miss M met us there briefly following their Daddy-Daughter Date Night - and I think they'll join us again next time. I know Miss M is excited to break in her new gardening gloves!
Here are some cell phone snapshots of our evening. I'll take a better camera on a future trip!
At the top of the garden - only a portion of it shows in the background
We helped out by re-seeding a row of cucumbers this evening - filling in the spaces where the initial plantings didn't grow. We also learned that there's irrigation tubing under the plastic bed coverings.
I think the other volunteers were surprised to see such a young helper this evening. A couple of folks called Mister J over to help pick some cucumbers, and then he started spotting them on his own! Although I'd already discussed it with him, the other volunteers were so kind to explain to Mister J where the food would be going. (On the drive over, we even discussed that healthy food sometimes costs more than 'junk' food - which Mister J has decided doesn't make much sense!) It was great to have that reinforcement of what we'd just been discussing!
After we finished re-seeding and our little bit of harvesting, we explored some of the other parts of the garden. There's a trial garden for tomatillos, bush beans, the Three Sisters method for corn, beans, and cucumbers, and much more. There are rows and rows of tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, and corn. There's an herb garden, and there's probably more that I haven't even seen!
We compared the leaves of the cantaloupe vines to the leaves of the watermelon vines. The watermelon leaves are much fancier!
We had a wonderful time tonight, and I'm looking forward to the time all four of us can go together. I hope that's very soon - they harvest three times a week! It's such a great opportunity to learn so many lessons - and I also appreciate the opportunity for my children to interact with (and learn from!) other adults outside of the school year.