BY AMANDA MOSES
Spring has finally sprung! The cold dreary weather has now been replaced by rainclouds and warmer days. It is now the season of flowers and sowing seeds at the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC). Over the course of the month, Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman, reacquainted students with the garden rules and gave tours to classes who have never visited.
Students from Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) VIII were enthralled with their first visit to the UGC. Many of the seventh graders were surprised by the different types of vegetation that have already sprouted from the soil, such as mint leaves, oregano, basil, and lavender. Roytman gave the teens cuttings of the herbs, so that they could use their sense of touch, smell, sight, and taste to examine it. Some were caught off guard as to how potent the smell of basil really is compared to when they eat it on their pizza, while others were eager to taste these plants.
Roytman then showed Ms. Amee Adelfio class which garden beds would be their responsibility to maintain and cultivate vegetation in. The students gathered around the beds, and slowly removed the weeds. They observed the soil, the pill bugs (also called roly-poly), spiders, and even the Eisenia fetida (red wiggly worms). “One of the rules of the garden is to respect all living things. When we start digging more into the soil, we are going to see a whole world of life,” Roytman said to the class.
Kevin Bell was happy to get his hands dirty pulling pesky weeds from the garden beds. “I had a lot of fun weeding, and I like seeing all of the bugs,” he exclaimed. Like many of the other students, this was Bell’s first time in the UGC and working inside of a real garden.
Next week, FDA VIII students will be planting loofah seeds all around the garden. Once these seeds grow into gourds, they will dry them out and use them like the traditional Loofah sponges found in stores.
Photo by Amanda Moses