A busy couple of days for Vegetable Project team

Culinary students at Albany High School’s Abrookin Career and Technical Center sampled sampled beans, cucumbers, peppers a host of herbs at our Albany High garden on Thursday of last week and took back to the classroom armloads of corn, a few potatoes, green onions, Swiss chard and more. More than 100 students in five family and consumer science classes took in the Myers Middle School garden on Monday, where juicy red tomatoes were the big attraction. On Tuesday, we had the pleasure of tasting dishes in the Abrookin classroom kitchen that included our potatoes and chard.

It has been a busy few days! And with a new school year upon us and a bit stronger sense of how to work with students safely, we are just getting going! It is our mission to create hands-on learning opportunities for Albany children, and especially children with great needs, by building gardens, growing plants and harnessing the power of exposure to nature.

So that means our longstanding afterschool Garden Club gets started at Myers next week. We’re joining with other members of the Albany Kids Garden Network in inviting you to visit our gardens on Saturday, Sept. 25. We’re planning to plant flower bulbs at a couple of Albany schools beyond our home bases. We’re looking forward tapping maple trees again in the winter and with schools that are beyond our usual connections. And we’re reaching out to teachers to kick around ideas for doing and touching and tasting and experiencing.

More than all of that, we intend in the weeks ahead to support Myers teachers in moving instruction outdoors occasionally, under beautiful tents the building leadership arranged to be placed at the school. And we are building our team to build on each of these initiatives – and spread word that contact with nature contributes enormously to wellbeing and thus fosters academic performance.

Of course, we cannot do this vital work without support from our friends in the community. Please know there are many ways to contribute to or participate in our efforts, ranging from digging in the dirt with kids to wearing our threads to saying kind words about us to people with influence to arranging automated monthly monetary contributions.

–Bill Stoneman

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