At the beginning of the summer our youth started reading the book Seedfolks. With a new narrator from a different background every chapter they saw the importance a community garden could have while learning about the value of the stories of others. The adventures that we had over the summer paralleled those of the book including the creation of an On-The-Rise community garden. The youth planted a plethora of produce including lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, kale and much more. They tended to the garden almost every day that they came to the farm and worked to keep their vegetables healthy.

As things began to grow we incorporated these vegetables into the meal’s the youth were learning to make. The youth tried all sorts of new concoctions that they had never imagined would be tasty and grew along with their vegetables as they learned how to eat and make a healthy meal. As the summer closed up and school began we began our fall harvest. The amount of produce that was growing in the garden allowed for even more creative meals to be made. The youth bounced around from dish to dish, they learned how to make jalapeno poppers, fried green tomatoes, zucchini bread, salsa, eggplant parmesan and many more snacks and meals.

The youth not only learned how to tend to a garden, but they learned the value of having a community garden where everyone could share and help. They worked to keep their plants alive and well and made sure to check on them whenever they could. The summer project and fall harvest provided a great exercise in work ethic and the youth couldn’t be more excited for their hard work.