Thursday, April 26, 2012

School Garden Love

On Saturday, April 14th, groups of volunteers wearing bright purple t-shirts showed up at various school and youth gardens around DC, ready to use their brain power, muscle strength, and good cheer to help these gardens better serve their student populations.

The volunteers hailed from Food Corps, an organization that places motivated individuals in limited-resource communities for a year of public service.

Food Corps Volunteers in front of the A-Frame trellis they built!

Working under the direction of local partner organizations, volunteers deliver hands-on nutrition education, build and tend school gardens, and bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias.

Thurgood Marshall Academy was one of a few lucky school gardens around the DC area to host a group of these dedicated Food Corps volunteers. The purple-shirted school garden experts quickly set to work mixing and pouring concrete, digging holes for trellises, hammering in t-posts, and using drills and saws to build cucurbit (melon, squash, and cucumber) trellises. While they worked, Food Corps volunteers talked with TMA students and staff about their years of service in school gardens throughout the country.
TMA Senior Justice Long talks with a Food Corps Volunteer.

At the end of the volunteer day, the group stood back and surveyed their accomplishments: together they’d built two large A-frame trellises, two pea trellises, and a berry trellis; weeded and tilled the fruit orchard and five raised beds; and re-filled the garden’s rain barrels. We were sorry to see them leave, but are excited to hear about their many accomplishments in the coming months!

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