"Wowww, Look at Our Garden!"

Amazing images courtesy Inga Finch Photography

"Wowww! Look at Our Garden!"

So said teenage Christine when she came around the side of the house in view of our workshop garden this past Saturday.  For four saturdays, once a month, for four months (skipping December), I'm leading an introductory food garden class with a friends' group of nine special needs teens at the home of Kelly Hetherington, one of the teen's mothers.

Back in July/August, Kelly, Annie's mother got in touch with me: "I want my daughter to learn how to grow vegetables, and I wonder whether you'd be willing to do a workshop with her and her friends."  Turned out, she also wanted her own food garden, so we developed a workshop + double raised bed install plan: one for her uses and the other for the workshop.

In mid October, the teens and I (with ample support from parents and a few of my friends) launched the food garden workshop series by filling a raised bed frame with compost, tacking in nails and running string to make the Square Foot Gardening grid.  After that, each of us planned and planted a 2x2ft (or 4 square feet) space with two kinds of cooking greens (collards, chard, mustards and/or kale), one cool season herb (fennel, dill, cilantro or parsley), and a square foot of lettue (romaine).

This past Saturday, each teen harvested the two lettuce plants they'd put in as plugs.  We thinned the lettuce seedlings from the seeds planted in October, and replanted more seeds.  We also took turns sharing our herbs with one another to touch, smell and taste.

What awesome kids.

Amazing pictures courtesy Inga Finch Photography

To view more of Inga Finch's quality work, see her website or visit her blog.