Greetings from Park Place! Deni here, blogging about the exciting time we had in the garden!
School is back in session and kids at Abingdon High were SO excited to get back in their garden after a long summer break. With gloves on they attacked weeds that had grown up in areas. First lesson; Johnson grass is nasty! It can cut your hands to shreds! Yes Please to gloves!
The second lesson – Yes! There are potatoes under those mounds! Our heavy mulching and mounded beds worked perfectly! Pathways were easily defined allowing these kids with special needs (some of whom have difficulty with balance) to distinguish where to place their feet and find the potatoes.
“It’s like an Easter Egg Hunt but better” was the quote of the day as students squealed “I found a big one” time after time. And big they did find; some of the biggest potatoes I’ve ever seen were pulled from the soil.
I was surprised by our harvest. This is a new garden, expanded this past spring from a smaller garden whose production record was weak. Our efforts to test and amend the soil paid off with an incredible harvest! In just 10’ of row space we harvested over 22 pounds of potatoes. Some nearly the size of my forearm!
The plan for these beauties is even more amazing! The new teacher is excited to use produce picked from the garden to make lunches for all the teachers in the school once a week. Students design the recipes and ingredients for each meal, then cook and serve the meal for a small fee. Money raised from the project will go back into the garden and support Special Olympic activities next spring.