E., the staff member in the foreground, and P., another volunteer working along the fence, set about marking a grid for the garden. We're using a "square foot garden" design, although we decided to go with a little larger grid size here.
(Had to get a posed shot in here, too, just for fun.)
C., the tall guy standing in this shot, was a large part of yesterday's tilling and installing of the raised bed framework.
As we placed the seed packets in their assigned slots, a few of the clients looked down speculatively, asking, "So are we actually going to eat from what grows here sometimes on drop-in meals?"
"Yep," we said.
Some of them grinned at that idea. Armed with this info, several of the clients, including J. and B., planted their "likes" from amongst these early spring options. B., also helped out by spreading earthworm dung in the furrows. I., standing next to me, said "You know bat dung is good, too."
"I've heard that," I said. "But it's crazy expensive."
"I know," he said, "a bag same size as that earth worm bag would probably cost you $25."
Meanwhile, C., our photographer, volunteered to anyone who cared to listen that she'd be happy to "fix greens" for us once the spinach was ready to pick. I thought, these city kids know more about all this than most of us would give them credit for knowing, but I kept that thought to myself. I didn't know if the praise might embarrass them.
Next week, they'll plant the second row of blocks, and the succession planting will offer them a longer growing season for these spring crops. The back row along the fence we left open for tomatoes and cucumbers later in the summer.B., seen here holding the hoe, stood next to me. Soon we were both staring down--seeing more with our minds' eyes than the bare dirt that is there now. "Aren't there supposed to be certain flowers that are good to grow near vegetables, too?" he asked in his soft-spoken manner. "Yes," I said, "and I hope to bring some seeds for them next month. Maybe some zinnias and nasturtiums, to grow where the radishes are growing now. They'll go in later." We talked about how long it would take for the different things to be ready for harvest. First the radishes, then the green onions, then spinach and peas, finally carrots in a couple of months. I pointed to a corner block. The radishes would finish their time in that block fairly quickly, and I had that spot staked out as a good one for the zinnias. I didn't even think to mention the beautiful butterflies they might find hanging around those zinnias later. Maybe I'll just let that be a surprise...