Family Gardening Program – Week Four

Copyright Natalie Walsh

Copyright Natalie Walsh

Great day in the garden.

The participants in the Family Gardening Program from the Moreau Community Center’s camp spent time putting down mulch, harvesting beans, sugar snap peas and nasturtiums, an edible flower.

Although I didn’t know ahead of time, there were plans in the works to make a garden salad with the campers later in the day.  How perfect that we had radishes, Swiss chard, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, an edible flower, and bags full of green beans, some purple beans and some sugar snap peas to send back for the salad.

Just so you know, the harvest of the sugar snap peas was plentiful this year.  There were many for each camper…but they are very tasty and so well received that only a few made it into the bag.  This is one of the delights of teaching gardening. Eating right from the plant. Once you know how good it tastes, you want to grow sugar snap peas for yourself.  One camper kept repeating what they were to herself – “Sugar snap peas, sugar snap peas” – so she could remember and tell her mother later. “I like these,” was a common refrain.

The nasturtiums aroused curiosity. The more adventurous gave them a taste. And all were happy to add them to a bag for the garden salad that would be served later that day.

Harvesting beans always brings an enthusiastic response. The beans are easy to find, and easy to break from the plant. And then there’s the “How big a one did you find?” comparisons.  The campers measure the beans from their wrist to the edge of their longest finger and declare who had the biggest.

The older group learned how a bucket brigade worked as we  moved wood chips down the line and onto our new flower bed of day lilies.  I told them how historically a bucket brigade was used to move water and put out fires.  I can tell you that a bucket brigade made short work of mulch moving and the new flower bed was covered in chips in no time at all.  Thank you campers!

It was a hot and humid day, so I made mint lemonade for the 70 or so people in the garden. Earlier in the day I had prepared the recipe and it was good that I did. Many campers asked how I made it.  We talked about what they liked more, the basil lemonade I had made previously or the spearmint lemonade they were drinking today.   The majority said they enjoyed both but given the option of one over the other would choose the mint lemonade.

If you’re curious about the recipe, it is easy. Make your favorite lemonade. In a blender add a cup of mint leaves and a cup of water and blend. Pour this through a sieve and then add the liquid to the lemonade. It’s not only easy, it is very refreshing.

Just ask the kids!


Gardeners Won, Weeds Lost

weed scavenger huntGardeners from the Moreau Community Center hunted for 9 different weeds in the community garden last Tuesday as part of a weed scavenger hunt.

The young gardeners were good at finding those plants that don’t belong in the vegetable plots. wsh2 They looked and looked. Hunted and hunted. Can you guess which weed they found most?


To all MCG Gardeners: If you haven’t been to the garden to weed . . . you may want to soon.

The Community Center gardeners have several plots in the community garden and in the weeks to come will be learning more and more about what it takes to grow and harvest delicious, fresh vegetables. We are planning a tomato taste test, a salsa making demonstration, an herbed drink day and more . . . much more.