Saturday, May 30, 2015

Youth Gardening at Its Best

Yesterday the Leelanau Community Garden came alive! More than 40 “Greenagers,” outstanding students from Traverse City West Middle School, came to the Garden to weed, apply compost, prepare growing beds for planting, and plant thousands of vegetable seeds and more than 100 plants that will provide much-needed fresh, organically grown produce to needy Leelanau County residents throughout the coming summer and fall.

The students were divided into a number of teams, each assisted by a Master Gardener Volunteer. The teams were chosen completely at random, so it was amazing to see them almost instantly transform into efficient, cohesive units. I was fortunate to be one of those volunteers, an especially gratifying experience since the five young people who worked with me proved courteous, considerate, and wonderfully dedicated and proficient gardeners. It seemed almost miraculous that a neglected, weed-infested garden was transformed in a mere two hours into a system of neat, precisely planted plots. The garden will soon be producing beans, cabbages, cucumbers, onions, peas, peppers, summer and winter squash,  and a variety of different tomatoes to be delivered to a local food pantry.

Thank you so much, Greenagers!

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