Urban Farm: New Hope Christian Academy | Volunteer Gardener

Urban Farm: New Hope Christian Academy | Volunteer Gardener


¶- We’re in Memphis, Tennessee
¶at the New Hope Urban Gardens. ¶This is a product of the
¶New Hope Christian Academy. ¶They believe in the
¶outdoor classroom ¶as a teaching element
¶for their children. ¶They are pre-k through
¶the sixth grade. ¶¶We are now in the
¶¶sensory garden, but before we go through
those five senses, ¶I wanna introduce
¶you to David Vaughan. ¶Now, this garden has
¶a name, doesn’t it? ¶¶- It does. ¶We’re standing in the middle
¶of the Mandala Garden, ¶¶and the name for that
¶¶refers to the way in which ¶¶the pathways are designed. ¶If you look, you’re actually
¶standing at the entrance of one of the keyholes. ¶So, each pathway leads
¶to a keyhole bed. ¶- [Annette] Or like
¶a horseshoe maybe? ¶- [David] Yeah,
¶yeah, very similar, ¶and those are
¶connected in a circle. ¶So, there are a number
¶of keyholes connected all the way in a circle, ¶and it kind of allows children
¶to be surrounded by plants. – [Annette] You know
we just said the urban, we already know that
we just heard the truck taking away the debris. So, (laughing)
– That’s right. ¶¶- There may be
¶¶background noises to show ¶where we really are. – [David] That’s right. – Okay now, introduce
me to those five senses you’ve got covered here. ¶¶- Yeah, well, I think the
¶¶biggest one for students, ¶and certainly the one
¶that you pick up on ¶as you walk in, is
¶the sense of smell. ¶So, we have a number
¶of different plants
¶that touch this. In fact, if you look back here, ¶the two shrubs that kind
¶of mark the entrance there, the Osmanthus fragrans,
which is the tea olive, ¶fragrant tea olive, and
¶depending on the time of year, October is really when it peaks, ¶but it also flowers
¶in the spring. ¶It literally, you can smell
¶it from all over the garden. ¶- [Annette] Okay, now,
¶what’s the next one? – The sense of sight is
pretty evident, right? ¶So, we have a lot of colors. ¶It’s very loud in here and we try to touch on
all the primary colors, ¶but we also want the
¶interaction of colors. ¶So, contrast.
¶- Uh huh. – One contrast I really
like is the combination of the eucalyptus, the
shiny, silvery foliage, ¶¶with the bee balm.
¶¶- [Annette] Yes. ¶- [David] The bee balm is
¶starting to fade a little bit, ¶but when it peaks
¶it is unbelievable. ¶¶- [Annette] I see you have
¶¶the hummingbird feeder, ¶and there’s nothing
¶any more joyful ¶than to hear that hummingbird
¶make it’s little squeak ¶¶and hear the sound
¶¶of those wings ¶as they are fluttering about.
¶- [David] Right. – [Annette] So, now,
give me another example. ¶- [David] Yeah, a lot
¶of rudbeckia maxima, ¶the giant cone flower here. ¶¶- [Annette] Aren’t
¶¶they wonderful? ¶- [David] Those are
¶a gold finch draw, ¶which is another kind
¶of cool sensory thing. ¶¶Not only the noise
¶¶of the gold finch, but watching them, that
kind of deep yellow. – [Annette] Yes, well we
have the sense of touch. – [David] That’s right. ¶So, we have a lot
¶of Lamb’s Ear here, ¶¶which is obviously a huge
¶¶hit with the really soft, ¶shiny leaves,
¶- [Annette] Oh yes. ¶¶- but, students’ favorite,
¶¶and what most students ¶¶gravitate towards when
¶¶they come to this garden, ¶¶is mimosa pudica, it’s
¶¶the sensitive plant here, ¶and you can see it
¶self-sews every year. ¶So, we actually don’t
¶have to replant it, but this is one of those that is ¶absolutely incredible
¶for students. ¶To feel and to see–
¶- [Annette] Oh, look at that! ¶- [David] The
¶reaction of the plant. ¶- [Annette] I’ve never
¶seen it, oh look! It’s just all died right
before our eyes (laughs) ¶¶I’ve never seen
¶¶it used like that ¶¶as a little ground cover. ¶- [David] You know,
¶we could thin it ¶¶and let it kind of, it
¶¶grows kind of like a vine, ¶but we actually prefer
¶it to be this mass, ¶and I think students will
¶surround this whole section. ¶¶So, it’s a really
¶¶neat way to show, ¶not only the sense of touch, ¶but also plants
¶defense mechanisms. – Yeah, defense system. Well, as I walk through
here with you, David, ¶I know plants, and I know
¶that there is a lot of things ¶that go into the ground here. ¶¶How do you get all
¶¶of this together? Do you participate with
the school children? ¶- [David] So, I’m kind
¶of behind the scenes ¶with such an expansive space. My job is really to
keep things functioning, but we do have mass
plantings with students ¶¶every May, after they are
¶¶finished with testing. ¶We get every grade level out. ¶Every grade level puts a
¶different seed in the ground. ¶¶We also have an intensive
¶¶garden club that meets, ¶about 20 to 25
¶students after school, ¶¶and they are upper
¶¶school students ¶¶who work very specifically
¶¶with the mulching, ¶with the composting,
¶with planting. ¶So, all of the sweet
¶peppers here were planted by ¶¶our garden club students, ¶and so that’s more of the
¶intensive hands-on approach. – [Annette] You say
“intensive”, but for me it says ¶that you had students
¶that really got into ¶what they were being taught
¶- Absolutely. ¶- about the garden. – Yeah. ¶- They wanted to go further. – Right, right. ¶¶- And you know,
¶¶this white cleome, ¶¶you don’t see that very
¶¶often in that white color. ¶¶That’s so pretty. ¶¶- Yeah, I’ve had a lot of, ¶a lot of people
¶comment on the cleome, ¶and we use it also as a trap
¶crop for Harlequin beetles, ¶¶which really go after our
¶¶greens this time of year. ¶- But I’ve been
¶walking all this time ¶to reach some berries. ¶- (laughs) This is definitely
¶one of the coolest aspects ¶of the overall
¶design of the space. We really struggled when
we first talked about ¶building a space
¶here with the fence. ¶So, this fence didn’t
¶exist six years ago. ¶¶None of the trees existed. ¶¶In fact, this was
¶¶just a grass lot, ¶¶but we knew that we wanted
¶¶our students to feel safe. ¶We wanted to kind
¶of cut that traffic, ¶’cause a lot of
¶people cut through. ¶¶So, this was a way to
¶¶both engage the community ¶¶and also make it inviting. ¶¶So, we don’t pick any of
¶¶the thornless blackberries on the other side of this fence, ¶¶but in mid-summer, A,
¶¶you can’t see the street, ¶which is pretty incredible, ¶but also, you can
¶hear people talking. ¶People come and pick berries
¶over there all the time. ¶I had a MLGW truck
¶stop the other day, ¶as I was leaving,
¶I saw them picking. ¶I’ve had the City of Memphis
¶bus stop and pick berries. ¶¶So, it’s been really neat
¶¶to see that interaction ¶with the community. – You know you keep saying “we”. ¶¶This somebody had a dream. ¶This is the dream
¶child of Mrs. Ramsey. ¶- [David] Mrs. Ramsey. ¶¶So, imagine your
¶¶champion teacher gardener ¶and then think about
¶that times a hundred. She had been eyeing this
space for over 10 years. The school had owned it, but because of the heavy slope, they decided not to build on it, and so things just kind
of fell into place. ¶The leadership
¶changed at the school. ¶The knew principle wanted
¶to put a lot more attention ¶¶and money into
¶¶outdoor education, saw the potential here, ¶¶and I was coming
¶¶back from abroad. ¶¶She knew I had experience, ¶¶and so it kind of
¶¶fell into place. ¶- [Annette] And you
¶were brought on board. ¶¶- [David] I was
¶¶brought on board. ¶So this is all based
¶around the slope, ¶which is really neat ¶¶if you look at
¶¶- [Annette] I do. ¶- [David] the way
¶that the beds curve. We have actually swales dug out
that catch the runoff water. In front of each of these beds– ¶¶- [Annette] Called
¶¶erosion control. ¶¶All the way down.
¶¶- [David] Erosion control. ¶Bald cypress grove,
¶in the center, catches that water as
well and creates shade. ¶- [Annette] And they
¶like that water. ¶- [David] Oh,
¶yeah, bald cypress, ¶if you go to the Wolf River, ¶¶They literally
¶¶sit in the swamps. – [Annette] How about Reelfoot? ¶Don’t get me started.
¶(laughing) ¶Let’s go down there. Also, some blueberries
in the making down here. ¶- [David] There are. ¶This is the peak of
¶the blueberry season, ¶which has been extremely fun. ¶- [Annette] Well, what
¶type of blueberries? ¶¶they’re all laden. ¶¶What variety do you have? ¶- [David] We have a
¶number of varieties. ¶So, blueberries thrive if
¶you have multiple varieties ¶for cross pollination.
¶- [Annette] Correct. ¶¶- [David] So, we have
¶¶Climax, Tifblue, Premier, I think those are the main ones, ¶¶and kind of a cool
¶¶part about these ¶¶is we planted six
¶¶at the very front, ¶¶probably the tallest ones, ¶when we first
¶started the garden, ¶but all of the rest, ¶so these back nine
¶that we’re actually ¶right in front of right now, ¶¶all of these came from a
¶¶different community garden where they had them in
a little too much shade ¶¶and they were struggling, ¶¶and we were able to dig
¶¶them and get them for free ¶¶and pull ’em here
¶¶and this is by far ¶¶our most productive year, ¶and it’s really neat to see
¶the kind of community sharing ¶¶that happens when
¶¶one garden’s like, ¶¶”Hey, these aren’t
¶¶doing well here. ¶¶”How about you take ’em?” ¶The other thing we do, ¶you can notice the
¶patch of comfrey here. ¶¶- [Annette] Yeah. ¶- [David] So, this is
¶comfrey all around, ¶and I basically
¶slash and drop this ¶¶probably five to six
¶¶times a year, if not more, ¶and comfrey, because
¶of its deep tap root, ¶¶mines up nutrients and
¶¶minerals from the subsoil ¶that other plants and trees, even trees can’t get to, ¶and so these have been in the
¶ground for a number of years. ¶Their tap root has
¶got to be, probably, ¶anywhere from three to seven
¶feet deep at this point, ¶and so it benefits, I
¶think, to have those around ¶¶and just to constantly add
¶¶those to the wood chips. – [Annette] David, you
know I’m not a beginner, ¶¶but I’m hearin’ all these
¶¶things that are new to me. ¶I can’t imagine bringing
¶inquisitive children out here from the three years up
through the sixth grade, and it just is a wonderful thing to teach them that
there’s a world outside ¶¶of the four walls. ¶- [David] Yeah, amen, ¶¶and I would also say that
¶¶even past sixth grade, ¶having interns that
¶are in high school, ¶¶former New Hope students, ¶the ones that are here
¶working with me today, ¶picking berries, they have
¶not only showed an interest, ¶¶but they have been
¶¶unbelievable hard workers and their passion for the space ¶and seeing them develop over
¶time has just been priceless. ¶- [Annette] Well
¶look who I ran into. ¶Hi, Darius. ¶- Hey, how are you? – You have a job
here, don’t you? ¶- Yes ma’am.
¶- And you’re here to do it. ¶What is it? ¶¶- The whole alley, ¶and in particular
¶the butterfly alley. ¶- Okay, this is the
¶butterfly alley, ¶¶and you’ve got pollinators
¶¶of all sorts in here, ¶¶and they like all
¶¶sorts of plants. ¶- Yes ma’am. ¶¶- Well, educate us
¶¶on some of them. ¶¶- [Darius] The first
¶¶plant here is the hyssop. We also have the
scarlet sage right here, ¶and we also have a
¶whole line of zinnias. ¶- [Annette] Oh yes, look at
¶all these different zinnias. ¶I love that one right there. ¶- [Darius] Yes ma’am. – [Annette] Now then, over here, ¶look at the bees working this. ¶¶- [Darius] Mountain mint. ¶¶- [Annette] Mountain mint. ¶Oh, I see it. ¶¶How many numbers? ¶There is a hornet and a
¶bumblebee and a regular bee. – [Darius] It attracts all
types of different pollinators. ¶¶- Oh, that is very active. ¶¶I don’t really
¶¶wanna stand there. ¶¶(laughing) ¶¶And I know that this is– ¶- Honeysuckle. ¶- just a regular honeysuckle. ¶What do you see gets on that? ¶- It’s kind of all the same. ‘Cause all the pollinators kind
of congregate to one place. ¶So, they’re just
¶all over the place. – They say, “Hey, wait!” ¶”He’s eatin’ something
¶over that one. ¶¶”I wanna go gets
¶¶some”, don’t they? – Yeah, they have
plenty of places to go. ¶¶- Yeah, so you
¶¶weed and you clip? ¶- Yes ma’am. ¶¶Weed, clip, water. ¶That’s the routine. ¶Right here we have
¶the butterfly bush, ¶which attracts all different
¶types of butterflies, ¶¶and they’re scattered
¶¶all throughout the alley. ¶- [Annette] Their abundance
¶shows how important they are. ¶- Yes ma’am. ¶¶- Well Darius, I’ve got
¶¶hopes and dreams for you. ¶- Yes ma’am. ¶¶- I hope that when you
¶¶get past your high school that the days gonna come
when you’re gonna have ¶your own family and
¶your own backyard ¶¶and I do hope that you’ll
¶¶put all of this knowledge ¶¶you’ve learned into that, ¶and it was a pleasure
¶to walk with you. ¶- Yes ma’am. ¶- I didn’t even see any weeds. ¶- (laughs) Doin’ a good job. ¶- [Annette] Well,
¶David, it’s obvious, ¶your resources here
¶come from everywhere, ¶¶and you’ve put a
¶¶lot of effort in, ¶¶but you know what you put
¶¶in now, you’re gonna reap. ¶- [David] That’s
¶right, that’s right. ¶¶- So, with all of
¶¶this abundance, ¶how do you distribute
¶the wealth? ¶- So, we have a number
¶of different ways. During the school year, ¶we actually are blessed to
¶have a cafeteria manager who, bless her heart, ¶does a wonderful job
¶of taking the produce that I give her and being creative with
it so that students ¶¶are trying fresh produce, ¶and we do a “Try it Tuesday”. ¶So, every Tuesday,
¶our students know that ¶there’ll be something from the
¶urban farm that they’ll try, ¶and that’s a neat way to use
¶the produce and have students, ¶a lot of students who
¶planted the stuff, try it in the cafeteria. ¶¶However, we’ll always have
¶¶more than that to share, and so I’ll set up a
stand during dismissal. ¶¶We call it the “Pay What
¶¶You Can, Vegetable Stand.” ¶We don’t have
¶prices on anything. ¶It’s all just
¶sharing the bounty, ¶and so with the “Pay
¶What You Can Stand”, we’ll have recipe cards, ¶we’ll have all of the produce
¶that we have left over, ¶¶and we’ll set up right
¶¶where parents are walking ¶to get their children, and so, it’s been a really neat
thing to see over the years, how many families have responded ¶¶and how parents and
¶¶grandparents now line up, ¶if they know I
¶have winter greens, ¶kale, swiss chard, collards. ¶That’s been a real blessing, ¶and then during the summer, ¶which is always for
¶a school garden, ¶the tricky part is, ¶what do you do with
¶produce in the summer? ¶¶We actually do CSA
¶¶baskets for our families. ¶¶So, we identified
¶¶15 to 20 families ¶that live nearby, who
¶come on every Friday. ¶¶So, we’ll harvest berries, ¶¶we’ll harvest whatever
¶¶warm season stuff we have and share with them and have it ¶all pre-packaged with flowers. So, we share produce not
only with our school, but with the community as well. ¶- [Annette] That’s wonderful. ¶- [David] And they
¶share plants with us, which is great. ¶So, we’ve gotten
¶plants from all over. ¶- [Annette] Oh,
¶that’s just wonderful, ¶and thank you so much. – [David] It’s been a pleasure. Come back and visit us any time. ¶- [Annette] I will!
¶(laughing) ¶I’ll be back.
¶- [David] All right. ¶- [Annette] Thank you.
¶- [David] Yeah. ¶(upbeat music) – [Narrator] For
inspiring garden tours, growing tips and
garden projects, ¶visit our website at
¶volunteergarderner.org ¶¶or on YouTube at the
¶¶Volunteer Gardener channel and like us on Facebook. ¶(upbeat music)

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