Greetings from Deni in Abingdon, VA!
Well, the snow melted and it got warm for a second. Now, it’s back to chilly damp weather. Great time to seed young brassicas… Like broccoli, cabbage and kale. At our worksite, we’re growing flats of vegetables at a local community college greenhouse. It’s managed by our former AmeriCorps VISTA Heather. She sends her greetings if you’ve read her past blogs!
Since our last Blog, our most recent VISTA, Brian Serway, has spread his wings and flown from our office. He’s now situated in Johnson City, TN but has come back to Abingdon to volunteer for GYO once; something he promises to do on a regular basis. Exciting to see young things get inspired and leave your guidance to venture off on their own. We wish him luck in his pursuit of “growing food”.
These past few weeks have been busy as we organize and teach a special needs group from our high school. I’ve been working with these students for several years helping them build and maintain a garden at their school. They have gotten so good at growing food that they are now regular volunteers for our program. This winter they have helped to seed 85 flats of vegetables; including onions, broccoli, kale, and multiple herbs.
This is great work for these kids because they LOVE to help. Some are good at some things, like dexterity; picking up small seeds one at a time, while others love to count things; like how many flats we have to fill and how many flats of each vegetable that are growing.
Some of my kids love to sift soil, and others would prefer to carry flats to the greenhouse after they’ve been seeded. As a team, they work well together, encouraging each other, helping each other, but most of all having a good time. These kids are learning a skill; a skill of survival. How to grow their own food someday.
Here are some recent quotes from some of them to help my blog:
Xena-I cleaned up dirt today and planted red cabbage and white cabbage.
KK – we watered the plants in the hoop house today.
Timmy- I put seeds in the dirt. I liked it.
Meghan- I seeded broccoli and Kale. I love helping Ms. Peterson in the garden.