reflections from two rivers
Written by Olivia Moran, Two Rivers Garden Lead
This fall has been full of harvesting and planting. We started seeds from Sow True Seed last spring and were able to harvest from a few of the plants we started. Some of those were Cayenne pepper, Ashe Co. purple peppers, Chioggia beets, evening star sunflower, and rainbow beets. Additionally, a kind Two Rivers parent, Alan Hansen, donated kale and chard which has made the garden even more colorful and delicious. Kale is one of the students favorite munchy in the garden. It is always encouraging seeing kids who get excited about eating something straight out of the garden.
Before classes eat, they usually plant. Planting is always a relaxing and exciting activity. This fall, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes have been extremely involved in planting the fall crops. Planting is not only fun but a good character building activity. The students are able to decide what area of the garden they want to plant and work as a team to get the job done. This fall we have planted butter crunch lettuce (pictured below), Russian kale, collards, cauliflower, and romaine lettuce.
This fall, we have been learning about the amazing properties of comfrey. Not only does comfrey have medicinal uses but also uses for garden fertility. We have used comfrey as a green fertilizer in our beds. Before we plant, we take comfrey leaves and shred them up and work it into the garden before planting. Comfrey has been a great tool to teach the importance of soil health.
We are also preparing for winter. Now, the garlic is planted and the cover crops are sowed. We are hoping the greens we have planted will be able to survive the frost. While the temperatures are low this winter, we will work on garden bed borders and garden beautification.
Written by Luci Hancock, BRWIA AmeriCorps VISTA
Two Rivers was recently awarded a HCLF and Lettuce Learn grant, which garden coordinators will use to purchase storage bins and supplies to create borders for the school's garden beds. The intended outcome is to make the garden an even more inviting, organized, and engaging place for students to learn.
The school garden currently has 5 garden rows, a pollinator garden, a composting system, a miniature hoop house and a small cold frame. Classes schedule times to visit the garden throughout the school year.
The garden has also provided a valuable space for adults to learn about gardening, from volunteers who assist with weeding and other garden tasks to parents. The assistant garden coordinator Hannah had this to say about how the Two Rivers garden has affected her:
"This is my first real hands-on experience managing a garden plot and I have grown as much as our plants have. It's been tough but I am grateful for the support I have received from our community. I love this little garden and all it stands for."
High Country Local First
For every Local First Rewards Card sold, High Country Local First donates $5 to support local school garden programs in Watauga and Ashe Counties. This grant cycle, Lettuce Learn and HCLF awarded three schools with grants to build or expand upon their garden-based educational programming.
This spring Two Rivers students worked to create a flourishing home to welcome more pollinator species into our garden. Thanks to Captain Planet we were able to add lots of new pollinators plants to our garden and learn about the important role pollinators play in our ecosystem.
Recently Two Rivers garden has been hard at work with their summer garden!
Two Rivers participated in a seedling sale where they pre-sold a "Garden in a Tray". Thanks to generous supporters and donors, Two Rivers garden was able to raise over $650.
Two Rivers received the Farm Bureau's "Agriculture in the Classroom" grant this year. This grant has allowed Two Rivers to focus on teaching kids about season extension techniques such as starting seeds indoors, or the construction of cold frames and low tunnels.
Two Rivers will also be one of the stops on the High Country Farm Tour on July 16th! Be sure to stop by for a tour and to say hi! To read more about the farm tour or to see what other gardens and farms are on the tour click here.
Finally, Two Rivers, like many other community and school gardens have their least amount of volunteer help during the summer months. Therefore, the school is hoping that your family will be able to help! To sign up to help water, weed, or harvest the garden for any amount of time this summer, click the button below.
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture Office
Lower Level 171 Grand Blvd
PO Box 67
Boone, NC 28608