In most of the country January is a time when gardens go into hibernation. Trees release their red, yellow and orange leaves, plants that have given food for months end their life cycles, the soil transforms into a frozen brick and gardeners take a well-deserved break.
Not so in New Orleans! Here winter means hearty leafy greens, stout root vegetables, a warm winter coat, and work, work, work! Luckily for us at the Dreamkeeper garden we have some willing and hard workers! Scholars from kindergarten to fourth grade contributed to the garden's success this winter, each in their own ways.
Our Kindergartners helped us water every single plant they could find, pairing up and sharing watering cans as they wove back and forth between raised beds searching for dry spots.
First graders harvested radishes, carrots, cabbage, kale and lettuce, taking turns learning how to properly wield tools for harvesting.
Second and third graders transplanted seedlings into the ground, gently massaging the bottoms of soil containers before flipping them over to pull out the seedling with soil clinging to the roots. With trowels they dug holes just the right size for their seedlings, and after placing them in the ground scholars patted down the soil surrounding the infant plants to keep them happy and secure.
a scholar and his mother transplant a seedling togetherFourth graders searched for pests, brushing their fingertips along the underside of mint or bok choi leaves in a meticulous hunt for critters and bugs.
It's colder and the sun sets early these days, but the Dreamkeeper garden is alive and as colorful as ever!
Happy and healthy New Year from Langston Hughes Academy and the Dreamkeeper Garden!