I want to work at the garden because:
I want to have experience for future jobs as well as develop skills for self-reliant living.
Two of my personal goals for working at the Dallas Youth Garden this summer are:
Learn how to develop friendships and aquiantences with coworkers and to develop experiences for how to handle jobs in the future.
Two things I hope to learn for working at the Dallas Youth Garden are:
How to manage weeds and pests without pesticides or herbicides and to learn how to start a garden for myself.
I think my biggest challenge will be:
Remembering to regularly water and weed my plants.
My favorite vegetable or fruit is:
Dragon fruit, since they have a pleasant texture and gentle flavor.
I think a leader is:
Someone who is able to take the initiative in difficult situations.
I hope to contribute this leadership skill to the garden this season:
Being able to learn skills and techniques from the unique tools we have, including the internet.
Rows of vegetables planted:
Number of different kinds of vegetables planted:
Planned Garden Yield:
My garden did or did/not match my plan and why:
May 4: Started work and removed tarps
May 7-11: We planned our garden beds and what foods we would harvest, helped clean up after the plant sale at the fair grounds
May 14-18: Cleaned up measurements for our gardens, began prepping and planting our garden beds
May 21- 25: Continuing to plant gardening beds
May 28- 30: Continued garden bed planting
June 1- 8: Finished planting rows
June 11-15: Worked on wood chips, started weeding rows
June 18-22: Continued weeding, went to the Pollinator Festival at Dancing Oaks Nursery.
June 25-29: First radish harvest, continued weeding on rows.
July 2-6: Harvested chard and kale, helped water other people's gardens (catch up day), weeded out flowering radishes
July 9-14: Harvested more radishes, sunflowers started to bloom, worked on weeds in rows
July 16- 20: Regular harvesting, cleaned up tomato plants
July 23- 27: Gave tours to visitors at the garden open house, continued weeding
July 31- August 3: Weeding, evaluation of crops for fair
August 6- 10: Prepped for fair, sold peaches for a fundraiser
August 13- 17: Regular harvesting and weeding
August 18- 24: Used hazel how for the first time, made a chunk of progress on weeds, thinned and found a lot of carrots
Problem: Dallas Youth Garden is not heard of.
Solution: Creating a unique shirt to spread awareness of DYG.
Test/Activity: Order the correct sizes of shirts, as well as picking a font that matches well with the front text.
Results: We have the text we want as well as an ideal color, but no planned text font yet. We also have all the shirt sizes, for ordering.
Communication: We have to make sure everyone gets the right shirt size and that the advisors and supervisors order their shirts.
Leadership Skills: This helps us to build effective team work and communication skills, since we have to make sure the product is something that will fit everyone and will help spread awareness of our work. This project also helps with the use of creativity, since the design has to be new as well as something that makes sense.
Problem: Most food in American households goes to landfills
Solution: Using food storage methods to prevent food waste
Test/Activity: I will pickle some cucumbers with dill with some dried dill
Results: I ended up using an overnight pickling recipe, since some people can't wait a while for the pickling to finish. They tasted mild, but were still pretty good. The resource I used is here: https://www.artfrommytable.com/overnight-refrigerator-pickles/
Or you can just follow the recipe here:
1-2 cucumbers sliced into rounds or spears
1/2 onion sliced into half moons
2 cloves garlic peeled
2 large sprigs of dill
2 cups water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
Place sliced cucumbers, onions, garlic and dill into a quart size mason jar, or other container.
Combine water, vinegar, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Stir until sugar and salt is dissolved, remove from heat.
Pour the vinegar solution over the cucumbers and seal with lids. Place in the refrigerator to cool and store
Communication: I will provide the recipe.
Leadership skills: This will allow me to test different methods of food storage so I can potentially teach others how to do so, as well as teaching me how to use the resources I have available.
Problem: Very little finances to buy seeds to grow food
Solution: Grow food from leftovers of vegetables/fruit
Test/Activity: Find websites that demonstrate how to make plants grow from scraps
Results: I found this website for the cutting propagating plants: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamental/a-reference-guide-to-plant-care-handling-and-merchandising/propagating-foliage-flowering-plants/
as well as how to grow food from scraps on: https://www.gardentech.com/blog/gardening-and-healthy-living/growing-food-from-kitchen-scraps and https://empressofdirt.net/regrow-vegetable-scraps/
Communication: Making sure the instructions are clear and that the replanting foods will grow well
Leadership skills: Demonstrates how to use certain foodstuffs when you can't compost them, as well as how to potentially double your harvest the next year.
Problem: What I wish I knew
Solution: Writing advice for the next round of gardeners that will work here
Test/Activity: Remember all that I can from my experiences
Results: The advice I would give to anyone who works here at the garden next year is this: When planning your garden, plant your cucumbers and zucchinis to allow for a more successful rate of growth, and save the sunflowers for a later row since they volunteer. When you are planting your rows, ask for some help to keep the small weeds out, and make sure to put your tools away each time to build a habit. If there's something you don't know how to do, or just don't understand, don't be afraid to ask for help or look for resources online
Communication: Giving advice based on my experience here.
Leadership skills: Gives advice for when people are planning what rows they want, as well as reminding them of the resources at their fingertips.