It has been a year to remember: Schools went online in March. We had to put our Junior Master Gardener Club meetings on hold for the rest of the school year. We had great hopes for a return to school in August, and hosted 4 workdays in the school garden. These four special ‘Garden Days’ were planned in May and June. At that time, Covid19 restrictions were lifting. So families who were healthy and comfortable with coming participated.
Activities included: Picking strawberries and sugar snap peas, pulling the carrots, and digging up the potatoes that were planted early in the year. We also planted six raised beds with summer crops: peanuts, sunflowers, pumpkins, watermelon, sweet potatoes, and popcorn. Also a bed for gourds was expanded and improved, located along the pond retention fence. Families signed up to water the garden through summer. When school (hopefully) reopens crops can be harvested.
We have wildlife too! Our school garden is a certified Pollinator Habitat, so there is always something fun to see. In May we already had Gulf Fritillary caterpillars eating on Passion Vine, their host plant. Goldfinches were striping the seeds out of the ripe poppies. Finally, at our last workday a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail, the Georgia State butterfly, was busy sipping nectar from the many flowers which make up the pollinator gardens.
Working with school children is a wonderful way to share your knowledge with the next generation of gardeners! Consider working with a school near you.