Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 13, November 11th, 2017

Hello Everyone! This past Saturday was our Picnic and Vegetable Contest Day! We had so many great entries and a wonderful lunch together. Everyone harvested their crops according to the instructions and entered their best pick.

There were so many different veggies to choose from!

 

Even if some of our harvest had Tomato Horn Worms, at least it made for a good picture!!

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Thank you to Nora, for making some beautiful leis for our kiddos. This is such a great idea to display the Marigolds!!

 

A big thank you and congratulations to all of our volunteers, graduates and participants!

 

 

 

And a BIG Congratulations to Abigail Cosby for winning Grand Champion with her Cheers Head Cabbage!!

 

Just a few more weeks to go in the Fall Session 2017. Be sure to keep an eye out for registration for the Spring Session 2018! Happy Gardening 🙂

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NEW!!! The Bexar County Youth Gardens Program Blog is now the Children’s Vegetable Garden Program Blog!!

Thank you all for subscribing to our blog. We are updating the name to reflect more closely which youth gardens program from Bexar County is being highlighted on this blog. Hopefully this change will clarify a few things. And no worries, you are still subscribed and will continue to receive all the awesome updates from the Children’s Vegetable Garden Program at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens 🙂

 

Thank you!!!

Week 12: November 4, 2017

Only one week to go until the big vegetable contest! Honestly, I have nothing new to add this week, so I’ll be brief.

Things to remember:

  1. Bring compost
  2. Smush bad bugs
  3. Remove sad looking leaves
  4. Liquid feed celery and cabbage
  5. Harvest leafy greens correctly (wrap in moist paper towel and store in small coolers until you get home)

Read over your email from this week for the veggie competition guidelines and rules. This is a big day for the garden, and we need your help to make it run smoothly! I will be out of the country for the next two weekends, so smile for whoever is taking photos for me 🙂 I am so disappointed I’m missing the competition, y’all are going to love it!

I want to mention that MANY plots weren’t reserved this session. If you love this and believe it has value for your children, please tell your friends and family. Below are two Master Gardeners who are having to do a ton of work themselves, and maintain TWELVE beds so they weren’t empty. We have two sessions a year, and love to have all beds reserved!

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Thanks guys!

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Wow!

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Those cole crops look incredible!

Until next week!

-Kelly

Week 11: October 28, 2017

Hello everyone! Just a reminder, November 11th will be our fall vegetable show, picnic, and recognition ceremony.

Please make sure the plot and walkways are weeded and full of trash. The compost pile needs your compost every week! We removed all brown, yellow, or damaged leaves. Remember to stay on top of bug smushing- the traps and liquid insecticide aren’t enough! Marigold flowers were removed, and what remained was given liquid feed. Don’t forget to gently push the bean plants away from shadowing the radishes. A few cabbage leaves may have to be removed so as not to impede the growth of the radishes. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and celery were drenched with Javelin Bt at the recommended dilution rate, mixed with two drops of M-Pede Insecticidal soap per one gallon of water. Celery and cauliflower were given liquid feed.

MANY plants were harvested today. The JMG activity was given by Anna Rascoe and was about the significance and usages of marigolds. Here come the photos:

 

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Lettuce harvesting

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Harvest

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Harvest

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JMG activity

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JMG marigold activity

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All that lettuce!

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Marigold bounty

Until next week!

Week 10- October 21, 2017

Hello Gardeners!

Mark November 11th on your calendars for our fall vegetable show! We’ll need lots of help, so your section leaders will be giving you more information for this.

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Sunrise

Everyone arrived early this morning because it was the grand opening of the Botanical Garden’s new expansion! We went through our plots and removed any yellow/brown or damaged leaved. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so we aren’t treating for bugs. Make sure you’re checking VERY THOROUGHLY! It doesn’t take long for one or two bugs to turn into a swarm! Spent blooms from marigold plants were removed, and liquid feed was added. We made sure the bean plants aren’t shadowing the radishes. Check out the example plot and see how the red part of the radish root and plant was lightly and gently dirtied up last week. Your section leaders will show you how to do this! Some radishes may need to be removed due to overcrowding. Make sure and eat the greens on a salad tonight.3.jpg2.jpg1.jpg

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Nicely blooming squash

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Tomatoes in different stages

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Bug trap to catch bugs on the cucumber plant. It’s working!

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Green beans are blooming. Aren’t they beautiful?

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Lettuce grows so fast!

Celery and cauliflower plants were given liquid feed today. Some cucumbers, squash, lettuce, tomatoes, kale, and thinned radishes may be ready for harvest. Ask your section leader! The best way to keep leafy greens good is to wrap them in a moist paper towel and store them in a small cooler until you get home.

Today’s JMG activity was taught by beekeeper Jim Bills. The kids loved it!

Note that for the next two sessions the start time will be at 8 am due to parking concerns with the new expansion. See you next week!

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Bees!

Note that for the next two sessions the start time will be at 8 am due to parking concerns with the new expansion. See you next week!

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A visit from a pollinator

Week 9- October 14, 2017

Hello Gardeners!

We have now moved to the maintenance part of the growing season. We have Master Gardeners from all over the state coming this next week, so everyone worked very hard to make sure the gardens were looking their best.

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Notice some have smaller plants than others. These are probably re-plants

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Isn’t this pleasing to look at? See how nice the mulched walk ways look as well! Way to go guys!

We plucked all the weeds, and removed large debris and trash. All brown and yellow leaves were removed from plants, and insects (leaf-footed stink bugs, caterpillars, and cucumber beetles) were destroyed.

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Look out for the green lacewing too! They are a good bug and eat aphids.

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Pollinators are everywhere!

Remember that cucumber beetles can be found on green beans, yellow squash, and of course cucumbers 🙂 Bugs hide under the leaves of the cole crops, so make sure you’re checking them very well. Marigolds and cucumbers were harvested. Did you know you can eat marigolds? The flower is delicious on salads!

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Harvest artfully arranged. 

We made sure that everyone had tied up their green beans. Some kids were able to harvest kale this morning as well. Some cabbage leaves may need to be removed so as not to overshadow the tiny radishes. A few plots had to re-seed lettuce in the empty spaces. Lettuce can be tricky to plant because the seeds are so small. There are lots of YouTube videos about lettuce planting so check some out! All the plants were thoroughly watered, not forgetting the marigolds of course, who aren’t reached by the irrigation systems. Don’t forget irrigation lines must be checked every week for clogs with our super special unclogging tool- the paper clip!

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Those cole crops look amazing! The gardens really speak for themselves, don’t they?

This weeks JMG activity in the Sunday House was from the Learn,Grow, Eat & GO! curriculum. This curriculum is based on research and evidence done by Texas A&M and is available to all schools. We often teach lessons from it here at the gardens. The program itself takes kids all the way from learning how plants grow, to planting an actual garden at their schools, and then harvesting it and tasting stuff right in the classroom and learning what good food our body needs! If you’re interested in this program for your school, contact me or Ruby (our youth gardens coordinator) at ruby.zavala@ag.tamu.edu

The activity we did today was called “Garden Skillet Sizzle” and the kids learned how to properly clean and prepare squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini into a delicious snack.

It might be cool to have a conversation with your kids who maybe doubted how this gardening thing would all work out. Are they feeling differently now that they can see their hard work paying off? In our instant gratification society, the garden can be a friend that takes a while to get close to our hearts.

I am out of town the next five weeks, so please welcome my friends who are taking photos for me! They are various section leaders and parents. Your help is SO appreciated friends!

-Kelly

Week 8- October 7, 2017

Hello gardeners!

This was a morning of plant checking and chores. A friendly reminder- please bring in compostable materials! This makes such a huge difference in the quality of our vegetable growth.

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Things are coming up well!

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Cucumbers are so photogenic. Here’s one with the flower still holding on.

The kids began the day with checking everything for bugs. Now that things are really blooming the bugs will be coming! Some gardeners saw leaf-footed bugs on their tomatoes. These were squashed. Also beware of cucumber beetles and aphids. Here’s a great AgriLife resource on controlling insects in the vegetable garden. Sometimes just squishing them is the best way!

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Bug check

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Hello bugs?

We also checked the plots for any weeds, and removed them. Be sure to check the walkways for weeds too! You have to be careful though, because baby carrots look like weeds!

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Out pesky weeds!

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Miss Sandra kills aphids

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Everyone hard at work

Our green beans needed to be tied up. We put a stake at each of the four corners and looped twine around them to keep them in line.

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Bean roping

Our JMG activity this week was taught by Grace Emery. It was about herbs and removing seeds from dried herbs. Everyone loved it!

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Grace Emery teaching

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Seed picking

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Collecting seeds for their chart

At the end of the day Spinosad was applied to the cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, celery, beans, and squash. The plants were doubly drenched because it appears cucumber beetles have been eating the leaves on the bean and squash plants too! Remember that any tomato leaves that are brown or touching the soil should be removed. All plants were thoroughly watered. The kids continue to be amazed by how much cucumbers can grow in a week! If you’re wondering whether to harvest one or not, be sure to ask your section leader.

-Kelly