Saturday, August 13, 2011

More From the Old Neighborhood

Earlier in the growing season I wrote about the amazing garden at Automotive Highschool.  For those of you who didn't read my old post about them, it's a garden run by the Juniors and Seniors of Automotive Highschool and their teacher Jenny Kessler, and it's purpose is to start a discourse about where food comes from and how it's distributed through a hands-on experience of growing their own food and visiting local farms throughout the state.  They learn about pesticides and the lifecycle and treatment of livestock, how farm animals are raised and how they get to market.  It's an amazing program that all cities across the country should take part in.  It's interesting how much of a disconnect kids have with where their food comes from, how it's raised, and how it goes from farm to table.  In addition, it's a fantastic example of teaching urban youth that it's possible to grow fresh organic produce in a limited amount of space.  In urban environments like ours, access and the cost of fresh organic produce can be an issue.  The produce they grow can be taken home by the students who raise the crops, the excess is given to local food banks, and sold at the farmers market.  When I saw the garden earlier in the season, nothing was growing yet.  This is the before shot, back in May.
Here we are in August and like many gardens across the country, it is bursting with lush green growth.  Here is a raised bed of broccoli.  Absolutely fantastic.  Why can't my broccoli look this amazing?
A raised bed of Eggplant.  I didn't spy any eggplants forming on these plants because I was pretty far from the actual bed, but I did see a lot of flowers.  Soon.  Very soon, I'm sure they will be overflowing with eggplants.
This is the iron fence that surrounds the school.  Some kind of purple flowering vine covered the entire fence.  Just wow.  I was thinking they should have grown string beans here.  But then the people on the street would pick all the beans I'm sure.  So, maybe that wouldn't be a good idea.
In the back was a tall structure that they built and it's either pole beans or cucumbers?  I couldn't tell because it was far from the street view.  I'm thinking it may be cucumbers because the leaves were big.
A view from the side of the fence, at the front entrance of the school.  Look at all the amazing raise beds.  Love, love, love this.
What stopped me in my tracks was the bed that was the home to these giant zucchini squash plants.  Wowsers.  I could see that there were at least 5 green zucchini fruit forming on this bad boy.  I read that they grow these produce completely organically, as do I.  However, my zuke plant pales in comparison to this one.  Despite the fact that I feed my plants fish emulsion and compost.  I wonder what their secret is.  They must use amazing organic compost.
This sign was posted on the front fence.  If I still lived in the neighborhood, I would definitely volunteer to work in this garden.  Man, why didn't I notice this program when I lived here!!  If you live in the area and want to volunteer send them an email, see the sign below.


  1. What a delightful program. I love that a school is teaching kids where our food comes from. It doesn't get any more basic than that and all kids should know the thrill of picking food they've grown.

  2. This is a great idea and the garden looks great.

  3. Thanks for sharing this ~ So inspiring...and makes me want to go back to teaching high school!

  4. oh my, that looks like the dreaded morning glory on that fence to me!


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