BY AMANDA MOSES
The last days of summer bliss are coming to a close for students as parents clamor for back-to-school supplies. This week marks the final session at the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC) for campers. Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman decided to host a summer harvest tasting for Camp Oasis TWU. The children were able to eat freshly plucked cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, strawberries, kale, mint leaves, and other delectable vegetation. Some children enjoyed the juicy taste of the cherry tomatoes, while others were more inclined to the earthy, bitter taste of kale. Everyone was willing to try something new, and many were amazed how the items they usually find in the store are gown in a garden.
In addition to the summer harvest tasting, Roytman created a fun arts and crafts assignment involving stones and the lessons that the campers learned about pollinators. She reminded the campers that pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc.) are the backbone of nature because they help spread pollen from one plant to another, allowing the vegetation to make fruit and seeds. For example, a tomato plant can only grow its fruit with pollen, which then fertilizes the plant, allowing it to reproduce.
Roytman gathered a variety of stones and placed them across a table. The campers were tasked with first drawing their favorite pollinator, a butterfly, and then designing a pattern with the stones. The children then painted the stones and placed them as markers in the soil, symbolizing north, south, east, and west. Roytman hopes that these markers will serve as a sundial, so that everyone who visits the garden will know which way the sun rises and sets at specific times.
Photos courtesy of Jacqui Roytman