August 22nd, 2016
While it may seem that our school gardens are quiet as the kids enjoying their summer vacations, they are truly teeming with activity: plants standing tall at the height of their growing season, busy bees and butterflies pollinating our flowers, and most importantly, our Summer Garden Care volunteers spending their time weeding and watering the garden in exchange for fresh food.
(A snapshot of our butternut squash this summer at Dilworth Traditional Academy. It turned into a “squash-sea” and spanned the width of three raised beds!)
In our former model, our Garden Educators spent their summers away from Grow Pittsburgh. We relied heavily on the assistance of volunteers from the school community to maintain the garden in its summer months. Now, despite the fact that our Garden Educators work full-time and year-round, we have identified the benefit of continuing our Summer Garden Care program. It builds community through the lens of our garden – which is as pertinent to our mission as the actual growing of chemical-free food!
(Our gardens still had plenty of little helping hands this summer. This picture is a fresh-from-the-garden-salsa made by students grades 3-5 in the Freedom Camp at Pittsburgh Faison in early August.)
We are so grateful for our volunteers: for the hours, the sweat, and the love that they contribute to our school gardens. We are thrilled by the educational opportunity that our Summer Garden Care program provides for volunteers, the sense of community that it fosters, and our gorgeous garden spaces that are ready for the first day of school thanks to their efforts!