Johnson’s gardens are part of the larger City Schoolyard Garden (CSG) project. In 2011, CSG founder Linda Winecoff recruited Dan Sweet and Rick Harden to join up as co-Garden Coordinators for the school. Working with staff and volunteers, starting with the upper garden beds, they began to build what has become the amazing garden space existing at Johnson today. In the fall of 2012, Sweet and Harden broke ground for the lower Garden.
Currently, Johnson has over 300 square feet of active garden space. The second and fourth grade classes have beds in the Upper Garden, while the kindergarten, first and third grades have beds in the Lower Garden. There are also two community “Pick Your Own” beds with sugar snap peas, tomatoes and other assorted vegetables that will produce into the summer and fall. In addition to all manner of vegetables, our students have also planted lots of flowers since the Garden’s inception. Last winter, flower bulbs were planted around the outside of the Lower Garden with the ultimate goal of allowing teachers to have access to fresh cut flowers in the spring.
This year our Garden will be more bountiful than it has ever been. Students, staff and volunteers have started lots of seeds (including some cool looking peanuts and cotton)! Once again, Johnson’s first grade is competing in “First Peas To The Table,” CSG’s Thomas Jefferson inspired pea growing contest. The 2nd graders will be planting a “3 Sisters Garden” with corn, beans and squash.
Garden Tuesday continues this spring. Sam Taggart, the new CSG intern, will be working with Coordinator Rick Harden and volunteers to get as many students as possible in the Garden.
Johnson’s garden, and all of the plants it contains are a tangible representation of the generosity of those who donate to CSG, and even more importantly, the hard work of many students, and many teachers, and many volunteers. Volunteers are essential to our work. For every one volunteer who joins Rick and Sam on Tuesdays, we can get six more students out to the Garden. Our volunteer calendar is available on this page. You can also contact Rick at email@example.com for more information.