We have had a lovely and lively summer at the garden. Despite a few early rainy days, we spent most of our Tuesdays and Thursdays outside in our Nature, Garden and Family Play Program — planting, picking, running, making forts, exploring worms and water, getting to know each other, cooking together, attending workshops and making new friends.
We are the fortunate recipients this year of a Gardens For Learning grant through Vermont Community Garden Network (VCGN). We received wonderful materials to prepare our freshly harvested vegetables right at the garden. The new mortar and pestles got lots of action with the busy arms of 2 to 12 year olds smashing basil, garlic and mint — depending on the recipe of the day. With our new safety knives, lots of peppers and tomatoes were sliced and diced. Under Jackie's leadership for the grant, we read books about bugs and went for walks to find
them. On other occasions, we read a book about seeds and looked at many different types of seeds. Later, everyone tried their hand at grinding a variety of seeds into different flours. We also ran, skipped, slithered and explored the nature trails of the WVPD, finding frogs and dragonflies.
We continued to get gardening support from our wonderful collaborator Carolina from the VCGN Teaching Garden, as well as this year’s terrific interns, Nell and Beka. As a result of their work, our radiant rainbow garden grew, parents planted their very first peas and kids learned justwhere to find yummy husk cherries. We are also very grateful for the hundreds of beautiful donated plants from Red Wagon Plants.
We continued our usual programming outdoors at the garden with our intrepid and flexible ELL teachers, Anne C from Vermont Adult Learning (VAL), teaching at the far picnic table, and Eva from Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP) at the near picnic table. Nell and Sam continued to offer Baby Massage at the garden — with the added benefit of many of us getting towitness and learn more about it. Suzy offered lively kid-themed Nia and Shaun offered centering yoga for all. We had multiple musical parades, especially for our big Independence Party. Mel organized a donation — and part of it was a big diaper giveaway.
We had two great WIC workshops: Learning about ticks and mosquitos and how to repel them, prevent bites and do checks. Every participant left with a kit for their family. Andrea from The Gleaning Project gave us bags and bags of spinach, kale and other produce to give away. And we cooked many lunches from the produce Sarah brought us from the Intervale Center.
Together with Alicia Rodrigue from Legal Aid, we organized an Immigration Information session on the travel ban, including interpreters in Swahili, Karin, Burmese, Maay Maay and Kirundi. Under our shade structure on a sunny day — with baby massage just winding down in the baby corner —lawyers from around the state offered up-to- date information on the ban, answered many questions, offered welcoming and appreciation, as well as individual support.
We are grateful to Michelle Jenness from AALV, Julio Thompson from the Attorney General’s office, and Erin Jacobson from the South Royalton Legal Clinic of the Vermont Law School, along with her interns and interpreters. We are also grateful to the representatives from Senators Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch's offices who came to support families and offer their continued services.
Thank you to Parks, Recreation and Waterfront for getting us there with the generous donation of your bus. Thank you to BACG and WVPD for the wonderful place we are coming to on that bus. Yes, it has been a full and busy summer — and we still have our wonderful Harvest Family Supper coming on Tuesday, September 26th, 4-7 pm at the WVPD pavilion.
Come join us for the party — and for the cooking on Wednesday, September 20th, 9-Noon, as well as on Tuesday, September 26th 9:30-Noon. This event has childcare and a sign-up in the Family Room hallway.