BY AMANDA MOSES
The start of the fall season officially began on September 23rd, but the autumn leaves have yet to fully change color because of the temperature. The season has proved to be warm thus far with the occasional cool day or two. So al-though we may yearn for the bright yellows and reds on the fallen leaves, the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC) still has plenty of color to enjoy. Bright orange Nasturtium flowers pepper the garden beds and the Zinnas’ pinks, yellows, and purple tones are both pleasing to the eye and satisfying for pollinators. “The mild weather has been a wonderful surprise that has allowed us to keep our late summer crops to have a gentle blending crossover to this mild fall season,” said Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman.
The warm weather has afforded all students visiting the UGC an opportunity to observe the riches from the summer harvest and learn how to compost it. “Even though our vegetables are winding down and helping out the compost bin, we still have a rich and healthy herbal garden, edible flowers are going strong. The marigolds have proven to be the winners this sea-son in their longevity and beauty,” Roytman said.
For the next few months, the students will be tasting some of the summer crops as well as planting a few fall ones, such as mixed radishes and lettuce. They will also learn the importance of storing and saving seeds, which is an agricultural practice that involves taking the seeds from vegetables,grains, herbs, and flowers and storing them over the winter to plant again in the spring.
“As we get the garden ready for winter, we will be learning about fermentation, and what we can make with the products we find in the garden at this time of year,” Roytman said. In addition, the students will weed, harvest crops (placing some of the vegetation in a compost bin and learn about fertilizing the soil), and plant cover crops for the winter.
Photos by Amanda Moses