This blog follows the building, cultivating, and harvesting of the Sanderlin IB World School schoolyard garden in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since January 2009, the Edible Peace Patch Project has been developing innovative community-oriented food system and nutrition educational programs in south St. Petersburg, Florida. Sanderlin is the 2nd school to participate in our Garden Education Program.
Hello again, Amy here reporting on today's activities for the 11am-1pm shift. Today was very exciting because we finally got the meet the students! It was a packed day trying to complete lessons one and two within only 20 minutes. Three classes came out, one kindergarten and two first grade classes. John, Diane and myself were all very surprised from the students knowledge about gardening. They were well versed in how plants grow, which made the lesson plans easy to complete. After familiarizing the students with the garden, we finally got to plan some radish seeds. We did not get to plant the lettuce seeds which we had hope to do, but we can always save them for a later week. Overall, we had a fun day planting with the students and look forward to seeing the radish grown.
Hello again, Anna-Grace here. Today, Edna and I weeded the area for the Mustard Greens to be planted and saw a baby snake under the banana tree!! He was a cutie but disappeared soon after. We were going to plant the greens and garden beans with the kids but unfortunately, they did not get to come out today. We kept our heads high though and watered all the thirsty plants anyway. It was a super hot afternoon but everything is growing at a rapid speed! The sweet potatoes' leaves are multiplying before my eyes. Every week, they are bigger and better. I saw 3 peppers that had also grown bigger since last week and the banana trees and pineapples are looking great too. There are still some plants waiting to get in the ground but they are growing in their pots patiently waiting to join their friends in the dirt. Next week, we will hopefully meet our 1st, 2nd, and 7th graders. I'll keep you posted!!
This afternoon from the 11am-1pm shift John, Diane and myself finished amending the last half of the bed against the 23rd St S. fence. I had hoped to add the bamboo fencing around the bed but unfortunately time ran out due to a falt wheelbarrow tire. Even though I did not finish as much as I had hoped to, I was still very proud of finally completeing one of the larger beds in the garnden. It was a goal I had looked forward to last week. While I was working I noticed a bit of trash and misplaced materials surrounding the garden. So, once I finished the bed Diane and myslef cleaned up the around the garden to give it an extra shine, while John put away all of our work materials and organized the other gradening equipment. Overall it a successful afternoon once again and I am excited to finally meet the students next week!
Today, Edna and I went out to Sanderlin at 1:30, super excited for our first day with the kids. We couldn't stop talking about them and were highly anticipating their arrival for the class at 3:00. So we got to weeding to kickstart our day and cleaned up the beds where the grass was being pesky. We got a good hour in before the eery dark clouds that had been in the distance were suddenly directly above us. We hoped and hoped that the thunder wouldn't bring rain, but sure enough the Florida weather got the best of us, and the rain began. Only 20 minutes before our kids were to arrive! So- we headed inside and waited it out- which ended up being a great time to interact with other students that were in the hustle and bustle of leaving school for the day. Better luck next week! None the less- the peppers were bigger than last week and the sweet potatoes leaves seem to be multiplying. I am really excited to see the rest of the fruits and veggies start growing and even more excited for the students at Sanderlin to come out and join us!
The Sanderlin Peace Patch Garden got underway this Saturday with our first volunteer day of the season. We arrived at 9:00 a.m. to a garden that had been (mostly) neglected except for a few visits from staff at Sanderlin and a few from the staff at the Peace Patch during the summer. Click on the picture for a larger image:
Torpedo grass and bermuda grass found our soils yummy and comfortable all summer long and the recent rains gave them confidence to thrive.
But we dug and we pulled and we cleared in the hot humid sun of September in St. Pete. In some of the beds, a few plants had survived the summer, basil and watermelon and sweet potato.
Volunteers young and old, mom's of teachers, teachers from Sanderlin, Sanderlin parents, Sanderlin students, Eckerd College professors, Eckerd College students, and students from USF St. Petersburg, all toiled and tended on Saturday.
We planted starters, putting seeds in pots to begin their growth before they are transplanted out into the beds. More than two dozen varieties of vegetables whose green sprouts will be showing themselves in the next seven days, and our fall crop will begin is slow growth into food.
By 2:00 p.m., we had planted eggplants and peppers in the middle bed, another volunteer had brought some lemon grass to add to our spices, and the garden itself was cleaned and ready to go.
The Edible Peace Patch Project has only found its successes by the generous hard work of so many dedicated volunteers here in St. Petersburg. We are so grateful for your help, and our gardens reflect your caring attention and commitment to community.
We begin the Fall season mindful of the blessings we receive. Thank you all!