When Garden Leader Carissa Malone launched Chesnut’s organic gardening program at the start of this school year, she had a number in mind: twenty. That’s how many pounds of produce she hoped to grow and donate to Malachi’s Storehouse, a food pantry run out of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church right down Chesnut’s street. To date, the Chesnut Garden has donated nearly double her goal, having just last week harvested their largest yield so far.
Last Tuesday, under the direction of Garden Leader Laura McEwen, Ms. Landis’ and Ms. Austin’s first graders broke up into teams: one to harvest lettuce, swiss chard, radishes and cabbage, another to weigh the harvest, and a third to log the results on the form at right, which Ms. McEwen created. And what excellent results: 15.5 pounds, the biggest donation yet, bringing the year-to-date total to 37 pounds.
And still the garden provides more to share. Last month, Ms. Malone harvested 4.5 pounds of escarole (planted from seed by 3rd graders back in September), which she put in the teacher’s lounge refrigerator with a note inviting teachers to take some home.
We are grateful to Ms. Malone and Ms. McEwen for demonstrating in the Chesnut Garden that organic gardening, without relying on pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, certainly does produce plentiful crops.