South Jamaica, QUEENS — In the middle of South Jamaica, Queens, one group of New York City kids is getting a hands on lesson in the science of farming.
Today, they’re learning about mulching as they put “to sleep” a bed of garlic plants they planted earlier this fall.
“We were learning about all the plants and all the things that happen in the winter to leaves,” said a young Darren.
It’s all part of the “Learning Garden” program run by the City Parks Foundation in connection with New York City public schools.
This year, City Parks has teamed up with 10 schools around the boroughs.
“All the neighborhoods we work in are generally underserved, so we’re making sure to get out and offer these resources to children who wouldn’t normally have this opportunity,” said Chrissy Word, director of education for City Parks Foundation.
It’s all about going back to the basics and teaching science outside the classroom.
“In this program children are actually learning what’s nearest and dearest to all of us and that’s about our food. They’re planting in the soil and they’re caring for those plants and then actually harvesting vegetables and then eating the vegetables that they’ve grown themselves,” Word said.
And these farmers in the making are more than happy to be outside, learning about nature!
“We get to learn about plants and animals and how to respect them,” said 7-year-old Karam Kang.
“What I really really really like about the gardens is that we get to plant and do everything that we can and explore the gardens. It feels like taking care of little babies but their plants,” said 7-year-old Saamuja Doobay.
“They’re digging they’re observing nature as it grows they’re watching plants grow. Not only are they out here learning about the things that they see and read in books but they’re actually experiencing it,” said Manna Hara, who oversees the Learning Garden.
And maybe cultivating a love for gardens along the way.