Intergenerational Gardening


Over the course of the winter and early spring months, Garden Edu-cator Jacqui Roytman hosted indoor gardening lessons for students and members of the Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) Gardening Club. During that time, Roytman coordinated a few inter-generational classes with seniors and students in the Spring Creek After School Program’s Media Club, which is held in conjunction with Teen Central (TC) Vision.

The media club and gardening club were thrilled to work together gardening and documenting their interactions on camera. Some students took pictures of their work with the seniors, while others recorded audio and video of their various projects. The group learned all about aquaponics, hydroponics, pollinators, how to make their own potting soil and sub-irrigated planters.

Together they colored pictures of butterflies and researched the different breeds. They even watched a short video on the migration of Monarch butterflies from Mexico to the Northern states. During each lesson the children participated in with the seniors, they talked about their favorite things about spring, what makes butterflies so special and why they like gardening.

At the end of the entire inter-generational project, the students in the Spring Creek After School Media Club worked on questions to interview some of the seniors with. One member of the SCSP Gardening Club, Ruth Horowitz, who is a longtime garden enthusiast offered to share her experiences with them. Some students asked Horowitz what was the first thing she ever planted, which she recalls as a little girl planting tomato seeds and watching the vines slowly grow from the ground. She also shared that her mother, Fannie Steingard, was allowed to plant flowers out-side of her apartment in SCT back in the 80s.

“Do you like putting your hands into the dirt and finding bugs,” asked Bryan Fenty Jr.

Horowitz responded, “Yes! I loved to get my hands into the soil—I love the feeling of it. You know the worms that go into the soil are the most important part of gardening, without worms we wouldn’t have a green garden.”

Many of the students nodded in agreement because their favorite project they did together was creating their own potting soil. They were all able to mix pearlite, coir, and other soil together like they were making a cake.
Now that the intergenerational classes have finished, members of the Spring Creek After School Media Club will edit their footage to make a short documentary featuring their interviews and projects with the seniors.

Photos by Amanda Moses