Thursday, October 22, 2015

South Burlington, VT - Fall Community Harvests

South Burlington VT photos. 

   Summer lingered on a bit longer than normal, however fall, foliage, and the end of the growing season have arrived.

   As we come to a close on the Growing Young Gardener's 2015 session at Wheeler Community Gardens - South Burlington VT,  I suspect each of the young gardeners (grades 4-9) learned a bit about gardening, rain washouts, and elusive vegetable loving critters. One of the instructors (Bonnie) noted “the excellent questions the children asked and their curiosity about everything”.

   I do not need to ask if they had fun. I could see the joy in their eyes when they planted the seeds with anticipation of what would sprout and grow, when they watched as the tiny sprouts emerged into the sunlight, when they diligently thinned out every other one, when they sorted out what were weeds, pulled them up and fed them to the hungry compost pile.

   The camera watched as the children joked, and told stories, as they rang the chimes in the caterpillar vineyard, as they pulled their first tiny carrot, radish, giant potato, ripe cantaloupe, softball size tomato, and yellow and green squash. The camera captured their unique expressions as each one of them sampled the results of their work, grown and harvested from the soil by their hands as learned from attention to their instructors.

   Most important of all, I believe that their own minds and hearts, recorded the work, as well as the fun and excitement, of growing- tending to vegetables, and the pride of donating food to the Food Shelf to help feed hungry and less fortunate people.

   For my part, taking photos of such energetic, fun loving, hard working, and creative young growing gardeners - was indeed a joy.

   I am proud of each of them; I think they grew as much as the vegetables. I anticipate these young people will continue to feed the world in many ways as they continue to grow, while exploring the natural world around them.
   Our community benefits from such program startups, collaboration, and volunteerism demonstrated in this first year summer program. The season total contribution from GYG to the Food Shelf is 650 Lbs. The Growing Young Gardeners Club is collaboration with the Machia Wilderness Camp (Bonnie Machia) and the Burlington Garden Club (Janette Hasenecz, Jan Desarno, Lari Goldsmith).
   I invite you to look back on the photos (select table of contents, page down to GYG), of the different sessions of GYG club, to see the joy that children can experience with exploring, learning, and experiencing working with the soil, sun, water and each other, to grow food. 

   Martie Majoros, of the Chittenden Clinic reflects on another groundbreaking SB fall harvest program. The staff and clients from the Chittenden Clinic on San Remo Drive participated in a clean-up day in late September, to pick up litter around the clinic. 

Employees from the Chittenden Clinic on San Remo Drive participate in Clean-Up Day. (L-R) Kathy Fuller, Christine Garrapy, Don Maynard, Tim Moran, Marne Stothart, Zachary Galkin, and Danielle Rylant. Photo proved by Martie Majoros.

   Shara Tarule coordinated the clean-up effort. Staff arranged to have bagels, cream cheese, and fruit for the volunteers. The staff said that one of the best parts of the morning was spending time outside with clients and other staff working together on a productive joint venture.

   The group plans to do another clean up in the spring, maybe encouraging some of their neighbors to join them, and they would totally support a community-wide clean up event in the fall. 

   Perhaps this could be the spark to grow a community wide 'Fall Sweep' litter clean up to augment spring Green Up Day in South Burlington. 

Bernie publishes commentary and photos reflecting Vermont values of Green and Clean and Community. 

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