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Two Gardens Grow in Leschi

Leschi Community Garden

Parent Kim Blakemore invited me to visit the garden at Leschi Elementary School where 1st through 3rd graders are learning about seeds, bulbs and what eventually becomes food.

This past summer, T-Mobile volunteers built two large planter boxes in the front of the school. In the back, there are two existing planting areas by the Community Day School entrance. There is a round planter and a long rectangular one; the soil is being tested to see if it is safe for growing vegetables. If not, the School District has promised to replace it with suitable dirt.

Container gardening is being planned in large burlap bags. Gourds will be harvested and turned into bird houses. Both chocolate and pineapple mint were grown this year, which delighted the children as they marveled at familiar smells coming from an unfamiliar source.

Kim has been able to garner donations and takes advantage of free stuff on Craig’s list, but the big need now is for VOLUNTEERS! The garden is a classroom on Fridays from 11:30-1:30 when 10-13 students at a time are brought outside to learn about gardening. Community volunteers are needed to assist at that time, preferably 2 persons. To assist, one does need to have a background check done, which is easy; fill out a form which goes to the State Police and is sent back with clearance. Contact:

The Urban Garden at Seattle Girls’ School

It is the 5th grade at SGS that is working the new garden, and an impressive one, it is! There are 6 large wooden planters with a strip of white board at the end of each to name the plants in that box. The students have been impressed with their Egyptian walking onion which drops a shoot forward into the ground to create the next plant, which then does the same thing so the walking onion eventually walks the length of the planter! Artichokes, carrots, radishes, collard greens and the ever popular chocolate mint are being grown. There is an arbor with a Kiwi vine being trained to climb it.

A glass greenhouse built by volunteers has another large planter box in it for growing seeds. The Math teacher helped the girls use their math skills to determine how much soil they needed in each planter.

The theme for the garden is Community and they have Foodie Fridays where they have served smoothies and set up a nutritional salad bar. They are looking at food equity as a social issue, as income often determines food choices.

The school had assistance on the United Way Day of Caring, and Google has sent volunteers. They have used mini-grants to supplement their needs for the garden.

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