The Children’s Garden is a 20 year old program that brings 200 elementary and middle school students to City Farm for an engaging, hands-on summer-long gardening and education enrichment.
During the summer, City Farm is green, beautiful, and full of fruits and vegetables – the perfect time for neighborhood children to learn how to grow food.
Southside Community Land Trust partners with youth summer programs at community centers and schools for the Children’s Garden. Each partner brings groups of 15-30 youth each week to tend to a special corner of City Farm – complete with fun, kid-friendly themes like a “bean teepee” and a salsa garden with tomatoes and cilantro.
Youth participants learn how to grow food – from seed to fruit! They learn about the importance of healthy soil, what compost is and how to make it, and why certain garden bugs are good for plants. They harvest salad greens, fruits, and vegetables and make delicious snacks with the foods they’ve grown.
The 8-week program integrates lessons about nutrition, the environment, and gardening into its curriculum. Each lesson is taught by the Children’s Garden Coordinator, a seasonal employee of Southside Community Land Trust and a current or future school teacher.
Children’s Garden culminates with an end-of-summer Block Party, City Fest, at City Farm. City Fest gives youth participants the chance to celebrate the end of their successful growing season and share the fruits of their labor with parents, siblings, and neighbors. City Fest’s guests enjoy music, games, and snacks – made with ingredients that the kids have grown themselves!