The following appeared in a neighborhood newsletter in the Garner community of Parrish Manor, where we work with "Raise the Roots," a team of youth to lead a Backyard Gardening Program. This update was written by "Raise the Roots" member Kiara Sanders.
This fall, we built the first full-sized garden beds for each youth member of "Raise the Roots," and also a demo garden in front of the Main Office. The raised bed at the front office created quite a bit of buzz, and we received lots more applications for a garden bed than we expected! The entire crew is very grateful that the residents of Parrish Manor have reached out and expressed interest in being a part of our budding program. We have the resources we need to build several more beds, and we're ready to dig in this spring!
Each new gardener receives our personal mentoring, which involves the "Raise the Roots" crew coming to check on the bed every other work day and closely inspect the bed to check for plant disease and pest problems. We also offer workshops, which this fall included a cooking workshop for those wondering what to do with winter greens, and a pest identification and control class with Master gardener Connie Schultz as a guest speaker. The cooking workshop participants ate a hearty dinner together and took home leftovers, and the pest control workshop attendees went home with goodie bags of pest control materials and information.
Starting in February, we will resume building garden beds and we expect to build beds for an additional eight households. We look forward to working with you to build your raised bed and help you raise your own fresh veggies. Happy New Year from the "Raise the Roots" team!
"Raise the Roots" rocks! One backyard garden participant, Ann, and her family are pictured above at the end of a fruitful "Raise the Roots" workday spent building her garden.