Boys Club Summer Program Kicks Off with Garden Tour and Tasting

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Happy Campos Campers from Boys Club of New York

 

As we’ve told you previously, we are regularly working with the Boys Club of New York in the East Village this summer, specifically focusing on outdoor garden projects that enhance their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning curriculum. After a spring program pilot, we’ve begun the full summer program, starting with an introduction to the garden and a tasting and nutrition tour of the garden.

Highlights of Summer Curriculum

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2015 Citizens Committee for New York Grant Award Winner

The Boys Club kids will work in the garden twice a week for the six weeks through the middle of August. Each week we will cover gardening basics, while the instructor from the Boys Club will weave in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum into the lessons. Here are the highlights of what we will be covering with the boys for the next month and a half:

Week #1: Intro to Gardening, Tools, and Plant Tour/Tasting 

Week #2: Soil and Worm Exploration, Composting Basics

Week #3: Plant Part Basics (with photosynthesis/osmosis)

Week #4: Herbs and Companion Plants (and busy bees!)

Week #5: Life of the Tomato

Week #6: Seed Starting and Direct Seeding 

End of Summer Harvest Feast

With Week #1 Behind us, Program Off to an Educational and Delicious Start

Here are some photos of the boys’ first week at Children’s Garden at Campos. In total, five classes of boys, ages 8 to 11, with 9 to 20 boys in each class, came to the garden and got a tour of the plant beds:

Map of 2015 Children's Garden
Map of 2015 Children’s Garden at Campos

 

Sensory Garden Tour

The boys explored the beds and experienced new sights and smells:

 

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Exploring the sunflowers (photo courtesy of Alexia Weidler)
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Learning about bee attractors (photo courtesy of Alexia Weidler)
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In the thick of it (photo courtesy of Alexia Weidler)
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Very first class!
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Melon climbing the arch
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Perennial bed with colors of the rainbow
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Melon flowers
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Herb spiral (built by spring Boys Club program)
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Dill about to seed
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French Lavender
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Cabbage
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Edamame in straw bale (a nod to our early days)
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Long view of children’s garden with herb spiral
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Cucumbers climbing trellis
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Nasturtium with flowers
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Herbs and flowers
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Bee on Onion Flower
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Summer bed with eggplant, peppers, thai basil

 

Safety First!

After the tour, the boys learned about the tools of the trade and safe gardening practices:

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Tools of the Trade
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Volunteer Erin Hodges shows the boys how to handle tools safely
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Gloves keep hands from getting cut or bitten
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Boys love the tools and the tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Campos Garden Shed

 

Tasting the Garden

Then they got to taste some fresh garden flavors: Our first week included a tasting of the peas that the boys had just missed including a delicious pea soup, and lemon cucumbers with Greek-style yogurt, honey and mint:

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Sweet pea and mint soup (see recipe)
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Jaden loves the soup!
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Darius on cup number THREE!
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Lemon Cucumbers
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Look what I found!

 

Stay tuned! We’ll keep you posted in the coming weeks about the boys’ progress with building a worm bin, composting and learning about bees, companion plants, photosynthesis, seed starting and seed saving, and new flavors and foods from the garden they get to try each week.

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