Every summer, the LPH Community Gardens program hires 4 teenagers from our neighborhood to work as garden apprentices. It’s an opportunity for them to learn about growing food and local food systems and gain employment and life skills. In turn, we have some extra hands to weed, water, distribute supplies, and handle other peak growing season tasks.

We welcomed Terell, Reina, Gabby, and Michael to the team a couple of weeks ago. They’ve already survived some pretty hot days working outdoors, so as a treat, we partnered with a local summer camp for budding chefs to turn early harvest items into a special lunch. Burgers got freshly picked lettuce. Dill was incorporated into a potato salad. An abundance of blackberries became compote for the top of a homemade cake.

Best of all, the apprentices got a break from the sun, a chance to cook alongside their peers, and to see the literal fruits of their labor.