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City Wild Takes on Growing Gardens!

Under the warm August sun, Cottonwood Institute and City Wild partnered up for a service learning project with Growing Gardens in Boulder. We were treated to a tour of this amazing property and walked along rows of sunflowers, heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, squash, and potatoes.  In the Children’s Peace Garden, we ate grapes off the vine, investigated the pizza garden, and even tasted a variety of edible flowers. Along the way, Connor, one of the Growing Gardens staff,  taught us about how potatoes grow, the special qualities of their lemon squash, and even picked us a purple bell pepper. We tapped into our prior knowledge from science class to understand how photosynthesis works to grow our food. While walking through the community gardens, we saw many different varieties of vegetables and flowers, and different ways to organize a garden on small plots of land.

After the tour, we had the opportunity to discover hands-on, the hard work that goes into organic gardening. Using hands, tools, muscles, and drive we weeded rows of sunflowers. Some of us sought shade beneath the sunflower canopy by crawling under the leaves to do more precise weeding, while others used hoes to weed larger areas. The sunflowers looked happy by the time we were finished!

During our long lunch break in the shade, we cut up and ate juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and jalapenos – all still warmed from being ripened in the sun! Yum!

Following lunch, we spent time learning more about Growing Gardens’ CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Teens participating in the summer Cultiva Youth Project are responsible for running the CSA. The CSA provides fresh, local, certified organic produce to many members for 20 weeks during the summer. We were able to pick the cherry and grape tomatoes for this weeks’ CSA. While picking the tomatoes, we learned how to tell when a tomato is ripe, and how tasty they are when pulled directly from the plant!

We had a wonderful day in the garden with City Wild and the Growing Gardens staff. We’re excited to take all of what we learned back to our everyday lives, and maybe even plant a small garden in our backyards!

Written by Katie Craig. Edited by April Pishna.


Categories: Notes From The Field

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