As we roll into the holiday season, it’s a great time to slow down and review the past growing year. Here at Schoolyard Gardens we have helped schools close their gardens for winter and are beginning to consider next spring. Before we move full ahead into the 2018 growing season, it’s important to give the 2017 season it’s due praises.
A Time to Harvest – As the days grow shorter the Schoolyard Gardens team is working hard to finish harvesting greens and root vegetables. Cool season vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, collard greens and broccoli, are even tastier after a slight frost, and our recent warm, sunny days have given gardens a slight reboot on their greens. The last of the carrot and beet crops can be dug up as well. Harvest these veggies and enjoy them in savory dishes on cold nights! Be sure to remove the greens from your root vegetables and store the greens in airtight bags or containers with a damp paper towel. This will help all your veggies last even longer in the fridge.
A Time to Celebrate – Look back at all the garden work you and your students did this year. From planting potatoes in March, to watering and weeding on the long, hot days in August, to eating cherry tomatoes off the vine, and to feasting on broccoli in early November; what a fantastic season! This year 216 schools planted schoolyard gardens. Nearly 13,000 students grew close to 30,000 pounds of food at metro schools. We are so happy to celebrate every single garden success with all of you and all of your students! We hope you are celebrating your season’s successes as well!
A Time to Rest – With all the wonderful growing and learning schoolyard gardens provided students and teacher this year, it’s important to remember that gardens and gardeners need time to rest and reboot over the winter. After plants are pulled and the soil is turned, it is important for the soil to lay untouched over the winter, so that the soil can replenish some of it’s nutrients. It is important for gardeners to rest as well. It’s been a wonderful and long growing season, but taking time away from the garden for a couple of months will allow you and your students to think of future garden projects and get excited for the coming season.