One of our amazing volunteers Erica has very kindly offered to write some blog posts about her experience at our events! Here is her first one.
My name is Erica Scime and I am a third-year student at Ryerson University. I
love to cook and eat real, healthy, local food and I am studying to be a food writer. I
have recently joined Rye’s HomeGrown Community Garden in hopes of learning
more about where my food comes from, how it is grown and perhaps even how to
plant a few of my own fruits, vegetables and herbs. (I have always wanted to grow
my own basil and cilantro!) I also recently read Sarah Elton’s book, Locavore, and
am eager to learn more about urban agriculture and how to farm in a city. I can’t
wait to share more of my learning, planting, growing, harvesting and perhaps even
eating adventures with you on this blog!
A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a group of students from Rye’s
HomeGrown Community Garden for a workshop on how to plant vegetable
seedlings. I’ve wanted to learn how to plant vegetables, from seed to harvest, for
some time now so I couldn’t wait to get my hands dirty!
We started by spreading our soil out into large trays, sprinkling it with a bit
of water and kneading the soil until it was soft and moist like cookie dough. I must
say, I love the fresh, earthy smell of moist soil! We then filled our seedling
trays with the soil and packed it down gently so that the trays were just barely full.
Then we poured the tiny seeds into the palms of our hands and dropped them, one
by one, into each section of our seedling trays. I planted a couple trays of kale,
lettuce and tomatoes and the rest of the group planted all kinds of other spring
vegetables. It was so incredible to hold those seeds in my hand, knowing that in a
few weeks, they would become actual vegetables that we could eat! We then
covered the seedlings with a bit more loose soil. It wasn’t long before the farthest
table in the greenhouse was covered in seedling trays. To finish, we sprayed the
seedlings with a bit of water and left them to soak up the warm April sun that
poured through the greenhouse window.
As we worked, we talked about the tomatillo salsa that we would be able to
make once the tomatillos were grown and how wonderful it will be to enjoy the
asparagus that we had planted and nurtured ourselves. We talked about farmers’
markets, rooftop gardens and growing herbs on our windowsills. It was great not
only to learn about planting vegetables but also to meet such a bright, hopeful,
inspiring group of people that share my love of healthy, natural food!
Already a few of the seedlings that we planted have begun to sprout tiny,
green stalks and soon they will be planted in Ryerson’s vegetable garden on Gould
Street, just outside of Kerr Hall South. I had such a wonderful time in the green
house that I can’t wait to start planting our seedlings and get my hands dirty with
Rye’s HomeGrown Community Garden again!