School Yard Garden in Inner City DC

by Martha's Table
Vetted

In the world of gardening, winter is a time for rest—but not for the school yard garden team at Martha’s Table. Winter will be very busy preparing for the installation of the new greenhouse in the spring! The greenhouse project is evolving, and we have enlisted the help of an intern to research our many options for pre-fab greenhouse building designs and a contractor who will lay the foundation.

Come spring, the new greenhouse will be an exciting and central educational addition to our children’s programming. Students will benefit from the opportunity learn about plants and the art of gardening, and they will also enjoy the nutritious and delicious goodies grown in the new greenhouse. In addition, the greenhouse will build community at Martha’s Table as it will be constructed and maintained with the help of staff, volunteers and community partners.

Our goal is to have seedlings in the greenhouse by spring!

This summer has been very busy at Martha's Table.  We have had some staff changes and welcome back an old employee, Demetri Recachinas.  Demetri left Martha's Table a few years ago and has been hired back as the Assistant Director of the Food Program.  Demetri has a vision for the greenhouse and said that plans will get under way this fall.  

The plan is that 2/3 of the space in the greenhouse will be used to grow one or two vegetables that we will use in food made for the over 250 kids in our Children & Youth Programs.  1/3 of the space will be used for herbs that will be used for science and nutrition projects for the Children & Youth Programs.  

We look forward to this focus on nutrition education and the new greenhouse in the school yard.  More soon!

As mentioned in my previous update, we are planning on creating a garden greenhouse where our school yard garden used to be.  Plans are underway and construction should be starting soon.  There are many benfits to building the greenhouse and we can't wait to share photos of the completed project. 

After doing a bit of research we have found that the greenhouse will have a positive effect on our garden curriculum for the children in the daycare.  We can turn the garden into a year round project, increase the diversity of the plants, herbs, vegetables we can grow and keep out pesky bugs and rodents. 

Stayed tuned for photos of the greenhouse construction.

We have passed the half way mark to our goal for the Inner City Garden.  Over the past few years we have learned some best practices with what it takes to maintain a successful garden cultivated by our children in the daycare program.  Our first lesson learned is that we need to make the outside, inside.  How is this possible?  By building a green house!  The second lesson learned is the garden and our programs benefit the best when the community is involved.  This spring we are focused on building a green house with the help of generous donors like you and committed volunteers from our community.  We hope to have the green house ready for the big reveal by April. 

We will keep you posted on our progress!

As the cooler weather approches we are preparing the garden for the winter.  We have big garden plans for next year, we are working on a partnership with Penn State to build a green house for the garden.  This is just an initial idea and we will keep you posted on the results.

For now we are focused on winter gardening and are moving our operations inside.  The kids will plant herbs, lettuce and spring onions.  Once they sprout, we will harvest the plants every 2 weeks so the kitchen can use plants in the meals they prepare for the children. 

Our focus on health and nutrition has begun make an effect on the children in our daycare.  We recently took an informal pole of the children in the pre-school and asked, "What is your favorite food?"  To our suprise, 80% of them said fresh fruit or vegetables!

 

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Organization Information

Martha's Table

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.marthastable.org
Project Leader:
Kimberly Lyons
Washington, DC United States

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