It is bittersweet to finish a program like this. I only came to this school three times, but in those times I got to know many students by face and by name. The program will end this Friday and we did not have enough time to harvest the little garden we made on the first week. Such is the challenge with agriculture programs and the schools. The agriculture season starts when school is ending so accommodations have to be made to keep the students involved over the summer. We feel we do a good job in involving our students over the summer, and those that are not involved can still participate in planting and harvesting when school is in session.
So to summarize our involvement with this summer program, the first session we constructed and planted a raised bed garden. The second session we did an activity with seeds. And this final session we gave the students a presentation on acequias, communally-managed gravity-fed irrigation ditches, and showed some youth-produced videos you can see at www.youtube.com/AcequiaYouth.
The garden we planted (the 4′ by 4′ box at top left) is doing pretty good. Almost all of the radishes came up, some lettuce, and just a few carrots. The corn, beans, and squash of course all came up. At right you can see the garden planted by the STEM summer students of Mesa Vista. From what I understand, another summer program continues through July and they will maintain and harvest the gardens.
It has been great to contribute to the programs of the Mesa Vista Schools and interact with the teachers and students. Hopefully this is the beginning of a longer-term relationship where we can contribute to their programs and collaborate on larger ideas and directions at the same time…