Sometimes when you’re young, there’s a bit of a learning curve when picking up a new skill, such as the realization your hands get dirty when you garden.
Or the realization that nice flowers and delicious vegetables can spring from tiny seeds almost the size of grains of salt.
The discoveries were made at Thursday’s tryout of Maple Ridge’s newest community garden, the Intergenerational Garden, where kindergarten kids from Eric Langton planted petunias, peppers, carrots, kale, lettuce, beans and strawberries in a corner lot at Edge Street and 121st Avenue.
“They couldn’t visualize these tiny little seeds growing to be a flower. She was quite amazed to see these tiny seeds,” said John Williams, one of the senior volunteers who is trying to pass on his gardening knowledge to the younger set.
Thanks to a $24,750 grant from New Horizons for Seniors and cooperation between the school district, Maple Ridge and the Seniors Network, the corner lot has been fenced off and raised flower and vegetable gardens built. Raising the beds off ground level allows the soil to warm more quickly.
After spring time planting, students from nearby schools will make regular trips to the garden to check on progress.
In September at harvest time, they should be rewarded with fresh, nutritious veggies and a have a better idea of where the food they find on their dinner plate comes from.
“It’s very much a lesson in patience and determination for everybody,” said coordinator Sue Fleming.
“We are hopeful more parents will get involved over the summer.”
Some of the plots in the garden will also be for members of the community rather than students.
Fleming acknowledges that the garden is in a vulnerable area and says if vandalism occurs, they’ll deal with it as it happens.
But Citizens on Patrol volunteers will keep an eye out. Another feature of the garden will be construction of an arbour and open seating area.