Spring will be peeking out from behind the budding shrubs before we know it and it will be time to get our Sprouts and Spud Buds back in the soil again! If you'd like a head-start read the information below and contact us if you have any questions. The children's gardening programs will begin in May and continue throughout the summer and early fall. We'll be meeting twice a week to plan and plant the gardeners' individual gardens and the common gardens. In addition to an in-depth organic gardening curriculum, the gardeners will have lessons that integrate art, nutrition, cooking, careers, and more, into the garden setting.
Registration for returning gardeners will close on April 3, 2016. Registration for new gardeners will begin on April 4: children within walking distance of Eastside Community Garden (see maps) will have first priority and then other interested kids will be offered places based on their position on the waiting list. If you haven't gardened with us before but would like to join either Sprouts (7-9), Spud Buds (10-14) or Solanum Tuberosum (15 and up) please call the IFCGA at 524-0383 or email us at email@example.com. We will put your child's name on the list and notify you when a space is available.
As in previous years the gardeners will meet 2 times/week. Our classes will probably be held on Monday and Thursday afternoons when school is in session and then Monday and Thursday mornings the rest of the time (the final decision takes into account our volunteers schedules - we will finalize by early April). Harvest Festival, our culminating activity, is scheduled for Saturday, September 10 (weather permitting). Final schedules will come with your registration forms. The cost for the full season is $65. For more details see the information below.
Our SPUD BUDS program for children aged 10-14 was introduced in the summer of '01. Along with the basic program goals above, the Spud Buds have more in-depth gardening lessons and additional opportunities for garden design, scientific investigation, entrepreneurship, and community service.
The SOLANUM TUBEROSUM (Tubers) program was initiated in 2006 to accommodate our increasingly busy high school gardeners (15 and up) with a more flexible schedule and independent program. Tubers also have the opportunity to assist in the Sprouts and Spud Bud programs as Junior Horticulture Aides.
If you would like to see pictures of some of our previous summers' activities click here.
More information about the SPROUTS programAttendance: This is a learning program designed to introduce gardening concepts on a weekly basis and to build on what has already been learned with each week’s new lessons. The more they attend the more they will learn. For that reason if your child is going to miss more than 6 lessons throughout the session we ask that you wait for a less busy summer to enroll and let us make room for another child who can attend regularly.
"What I say is, if a man really likes potatoes he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow." -A.A.Milne
|Boiled (waxy, low starch types)|
|1. Rose Finn Apple||Easy winner! Great color, flavor, and texture||Excellent|
|2. Banana||Not far behind Rose Finn Apple||Very Good|
|3. French Fingerling||Fair|
|4. Austrian Crescent||Poor|
|5. Peanut *||Good|
|Mashed (high starch, fluffy)|
|1. German Butterball||"Doesn't even need butter!"||Excellent|
|3. All Blue||Great color and flavor||Very Good|
|Baked (high starch, fluffy)|
|1. German Butterball||Favorite for texture and flavor||Excellent|
|2. All Blue||Just behind Butterball, very popular for color||Very Good|
|3. All Red||Nice flavor, texture, and color||Very Good|
|4. Bintje||Got a couple of 1st place votes||Excellent|
|5. Purple Viking||Good|
|6. Peanut *||Good|
An article from a volume of our '00 newsletters about the SPROUTS program follows. If you would like to see pictures of some of our previous summers' activities click here.
You may have noticed the well tended 3x10 raised beds by the shed at the Eastside garden this past summer. These plots were cared for by 12 industrious "Sprouts", the children enrolled in this years IFCGA Children's Garden Project. The children met twice a week to learn about gardening practices as well as the fun, satisfaction, and occasional frustration of gardening. Three regular instructors led the classes with the generous assistance of Master Gardeners, parents, and local high school students. Classes were taught on the basics of planting, weeding, and watering. Other topics included composting, soils, capillary action of water, butterflies, worms, and insects. The classes were held outside on sunny days. In inclement weather, classes were held in a combination classroom/greenhouse made possible by a very generous grant from the CHC Foundation.
In addition to regular classes, numerous fun projects were sprinkled throughout the season. The kids enjoyed making salsa, lemon verbena sugar cookies, and herbal vinegar. They planted a butterfly garden, built a bean tee-pee, and made a worm farm. We held scavenger hunts and played "Veggie Bingo". The group also went on a field trip to some of the city gardens with Lisa Stephens, a city gardener, and then toured the organic garden of one of the instructors, Kristi Appelhans.
But the highlight of the season was making fresh baked bread from wheat grown by the Sprouts! Early in the Spring, wheat berries were "stomped" into the ground by vigorous little feet. The wheat grew over the summer with little attention beyond regular watering. In September, the wheat was cut and the sheaves were dried in the greenhouse. The Sprouts then threshed, winnowed, and ground the wheat by hand. The resulting wheat flour was baked into bread on the last day. It was eaten hot out of the oven by the children and instructors, parents and friends. Everyone agreed wholeheartedly when Bailey Martignacco said "This is the BEST BREAD I'VE EVER HAD!!"
The SPROUTS program was a success for the second year in a row thanks to many volunteers. If you would like to help next year, please call Kristi or Lauren at 524-0383 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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