Spring is in the air, and Earth Day is just around the corner! So we asked Joanell, the Chef and Kitchen Coordinator at The Family Center/La Familia to share some of her favorite experiences working with our community garden. Did you know we have a community garden? Check out what she had to say!

We grow fresh produce to teach kids about where their food comes from, how to respect our plant friends so that we can reap reward from them, and then we turn that fresh produce that we harvest throughout the season into nutritional meals for the kids, as well as provide fresh produce to families in the community. 

We want to spread the word about our garden being communal! Anyone who wants to come volunteer their time, helping with weeding and harvesting, can feel free to harvest what produce they want for themself. 

The kids at El Nidito loved it when we had starter plants donated last year! They would help plant them with their mini plastic shovels and then come out during the week to help me water and we would harvest the final products together! Then we would incorporate our fresh garden ingredients into our meals, which helps make them more open to new vegetables and even eating them raw! Two years ago when harvesting kale they started asking for some to eat, it was like passing out candy! 

Before COVID, we would have weekly markets at TFC/LF to give away extra produce to families to take home and easy, kid-friendly recipes, as well. That’s something we’d like to try to do again this summer, possibly outside to practice safe COVID standards. 

Thank Joanell for sharing about the community garden. We can’t wait to get back out there and try some of the yummy foods you all plant! We’d also like to recommend this article from HGTV about plants to stay away from in a kid friendly garden.

If you’d like to learn more about volunteering with us please contact Kate Kick, Community Outreach Coordinator, at kate@thefamilycenterfc.org.