While most of us left the CTA grounds for summer there was a lot of activity happening underground! This summer, a few volunteer students came out to harvest turnips and beets in June. Students delighted in pulling the vibrant reddish purple beets and identified the bright red ripe turnips peaking out of the soil. These vegetables grew in our newest garden bed which was built by the spring club on our “garden island” by the greenhouse. This location gets plenty of sun all year round and we have had good success in that location. Two grocery bags of produce were delivered to Jewish Family Service the next day and were enjoyed by their clients.
Our fall garden club began with a busy day of harvesting potatoes (in the garden to the south of the third grade classrooms). The potatoes had been planted during the last weeks of school! There is nothing quite like digging in the dirt for potatoes, it rather felt like digging for gold! The other items that were planted did not grow as well this summer. The plentiful rain and overgrown trees made it difficult for the soil to maintain the right nutrients. One exception to this is in the herb section. Our Sage and parsley grew nicely and the fall carrots have been planted in this section of our garden. We hope to see the carrots grow as well as the potatoes.
In another area devoted to our garden project (next to the K-1 playground), students learned that deer are not fans of zucchini! The zucchini were planted as an experiment along with Zinnia flower seeds. These were planted in two beds that were in direct sunlight without any fence. There has been plenty of squash to harvest all summer including one that was about 3lbs. Thankfully, right on time the Zinnia were ready for the first week of school. Hopefully you have enjoyed seeing them in the vase at the front desk. This fall Garden Club will try starting them from seed in the CTA green house. They will make a great bouquet for Thanksgiving tables!
Garden Club will meet this fall after school on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:00pm through November 15th and is open to students in 5th – 7th grade. Once a month, we will join with Columbus Jewish Day School in order to deliver our fresh produce to residents of Heritage Towers or Village. These are people who are living below the poverty line and for some of them the monthly visit is among very few visitors. They delight at seeing the students delivering the organic produce; and, even if their English is a little rusty, the smiles on their faces says it all.
Stay tuned to hear more about the managing and harvesting of our “fall cold crops.” Now that we have both the greenhouse and three low tunnel garden beds, our growing season will continue much longer! For more information about Garden Club, please call Diana D’Angelo-Wolff (Morah Dina) 614-864-0299 or write firstname.lastname@example.org. We always have volunteer opportunities for families!