Garden to Table Summer Camp

[On left: students from Charlottesville Boys & Girls Club and Charlottesville Parks & Recreation learning and harvesting in the garden at Buford Middle School during our Garden to Table Summer Camp. On right: same students preparing the morning's harvest in the PB&J Fund Kitchen.]

This June, in partnership with the PB&J Fund, City Schoolyard Garden hosted our second annual Garden to Table Summer Camp where students from the Boys & Girls Club of Charlottesville and Charlottesville Parks & Recreation learned about various topics related to growing, cooking, and preserving fresh, healthy, and locally-grown food. Over the course of two weeks, students spent half of their time in the garden at Buford Middle School and the other half of their time in the PB&J Fund kitchen located on Charlottesville's downtown mall. Let us tell you, it was a blast with good learning, team work and delicious food. 

During their time in the garden, students learned about the function of various plant parts, the nutrient cycle, nutrient storage in leafy and root vegetables, preserving and storing crops for the colder months of the year, and much more! Every day, students partook in a lesson in the garden and had a chance to work individually and in groups on various garden tasks (a lot of which including harvesting beautiful fruits and veggies straight out of the garden).

For the latter half of each day, students brought the veggies they had harvested that morning from the garden at Buford over to the PB&J Fund Kitchen, where they whipped up a delicious (and healthy!) lunch and learned about creative ways to combine the fresh flavors and textures of our region's beautiful summer bounty. Each day was rich in both flavor and learning and brought a new discovery and lesson to be learned in the garden and in the kitchen.

To read more about the camp, check out our recent blog post!

Johnson Garden Bounty Keeps Growing

[The bountiful summer garden at Johnson Elementary.]

Flourishing almost doesn't do it justice - the garden at Johnson Elementary is absolutely booming this summer and is geared up to have a pretty wicked awesome fall harvest as well!

Rick Harden, Garden Coordinator and parent at Johnson Elementary School, has written two wonderful blogs about what's going on in the garden at Johnson this year. To give you a taste, here's a snippet from one of them...

Johnson Garden is not an orderly place; more than the carrots are planted too closely together and there are many plants that randomly appear outside of their “designated” areas.

The Garden has a randomness to it that reflects childhood and growing up. Seeds dropped by the students become the volunteer flowers and vegetables representing the unexpected bright spots in any given day. The voracious Japanese beetles and hungry squirrels are the daily aggravations that are inescapable. Our delicious harvest is the “delayed gratification” that is so important for young growing minds to experience to grow into successful adults. The children experience the power of community working with various teachers, volunteers and UVA students to create a space that is positive and full of joy. Hard work and knowledge won’t solve all of one’s problems but they greatly increase one’s chance of success." - Written by Rick Harden

Click here to read the rest of Rick's touching blog post "Continual Growth in the Johnson Garden" and check out his other post which details the extraordinary list of plants growing in the garden at Johnson this year!

Support Harvest of the Month for Cville Youth
City Schoolyard Garden is working to raise funds this summer to launch a full year of Harvest of the Month: Garden to Table Snacks for the 2015/2016 school year. Check out our summer appeal and look in the mail for your paper copy! We appreciate your support that keeps youth engaged in gardening and cultivates healthy living skills.

CSG Garden Corner

Join us for tips about planting, pruning and harvesting in your garden.

July 2015:
Once in a Blue Moon
from Communities Digital News 

Twice this July, our gardens will bathe in the light of the full moon - on July 1st and July 31st. When there are two full moons in one month - the phenomenon is called Blue Moon and worth celebrating as you care for your summer garden.

Many gardeners plant by the cycle of the moon. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls upon the subtle bodies of water, causing moisture to rise in the earth, which encourages growth. The tradition is:
  • New Moon - [balanced root and leaf growth] plant above ground annual crops with external seeds (lettuce, spinach, celery, broccoli, cabbage.
  • Second Quarter - [strong leaf growth] plant above ground annual crops with internal seeds (beans, melons, peas, peppers, squash, tomatoes.
  • Full Moon - [strong root growth] - plant root crops (beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, peanuts).
  • Fourth Quarter - [resting period] -use this time to cultivate, harvest, transplant and prune.
Stay tuned in September for the "supermoon" when the moon is at its closest to the earth as it reaches fullness, thus appearing unusually large. 

Harvest now: peppers, green beans, summer squash, zucchini, basil, blackberries, cucumbers, peaches, raspberries, & tomatoes

CSG sends out a hearty thank you to each and every one of the individuals, businesses and foundations that support the work we do to engage youth in nature, enhance academic learning, and cultivate the skills for healthy living. We can only thrive with your partnerships! 

A hearty shout out to the Bama Works Foundation of the Dave Matthews Band in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation for their ongoing and critical support of engaging youth in school gardens. You really know what it means to Rock for our youth!

Ballyshannon Fund supports agriculture and education and we are so thankful for their generous support of City Schoolyard Garden!

Tomas and team at Mas Tapas are such enthusiastic supporters of CSG and of engaging youth in gardening. We are so fortunate for your partnership!

Thanks to our gardening friends at Albemarle Garden Club for their commitment to ensuring that all youth have opportunities to garden!

Rieley & Associates is the workplace of our Venable Garden Coordinator and Board chair of our fundraising committee. Thank you for supporting your staff in their community outreach to youth and gardening.


University of Virginia Curry School Evaluation
CSG extends our deep appreciation to the evaluation team from the University of Virginia Curry School of Education! Led by Dr. Eileen Merritt (second from left) and grad students Kristen Schutz (left) and Leah Cole (second from right by Emily) this dedicated seminar class helped CSG design and implement our first formal evaluation and helped build capacity in CSG for a deeper understanding of program impact. 

Students worked with CSG and CCS to identify measures, build on field research, create survey tools, and collect and analyze the data! Their work was significant and included over a dozen student interviews, hundreds of student surveys, and observing through volunteering in garden classes. 

We met on Tuesday to review their detailed 75 page report and are so so grateful for the keen insights we gleaned. We look forward to sharing the results and in the meantime tip our hats to this wonderful team!

Tidbits & Dates to Remember


Summer Volunteer Opportunities 

Are you looking to get more involved with City Schoolyard Garden? Visit our website to check out the list of volunteer days this summer and be sure to fill out our volunteer information survey!

Buford Summer Gardening Days

CCS Students ages 12-14 are invited to help out in the Buford garden - students will help water, weed, trellis, harvest, taste, and take home produce! Click here to see a complete list of the gardening days offered this summer at Buford.
Email Emily Axelbaum, CSG Garden Educator, at or call her at (314) 799-9394 if your student is interested in joining on any of our gardening days.

We have updated our website! Check us out.

Now there is more information on CSG programming, including our Education Frame for Garden Lessons (RootED), Harvest of the Month program, and First Peas to the Table friendly competition.

For fun updates, photos and stories, be sure to like us on Facebook!

Click on the apple to donate or send a check to our address below. Thank you!

P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
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