The past few months have flown by! There has been a whirlwind of planting, meetings, harvesting, watering, health workshops, and informal ESL classes at Growing Home!
The plots have exploded with lush green! Nearly everything has grown well. Many families did not expect all of the plants to get so big. They are so excited to see their plants each day! It has been a challenge to keep everything watered in the dry heat that July has brought Philadelphia, but the farmers are very close to getting their own water hook up installed in the garden!
The farmers have continue to harvest many greens (mustard greens, collards, and kale) from the spring. Many of the summer plants have begun producing – chili peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cilantro, thai basil, long beans, bitter melon, cucumbers, and more. Some of the tomato plants had a tough time with blossom-end rot due to the uneven waterings and soil ratio in the raised beds – but they seem to be overcoming the obstacle and are beginning to produce some beautiful red tomatoes.
There are many kids of the refugee families who regularly come by the farm and who have been keeping active by helping water the plots, playing with chalk, and swimming in the nearby pool after working in the farm. There is a public pool one block away that they go to after a hot day of farming and practice swimming.
The last farm plots were given away to new Bhutanese and Burmese families who are now at the farm almost everyday. Every evening, Growing Home becomes a very social place with families and people of all ages mixing, talking, and tasting from the farm.
Because the farmers can only produce so much from their plots – they have been gleaning from other farms that Adam, NSC’s farm manager, is connected with as well as collecting donations. They have been able to get hundreds of pounds of squash, cucumbers, beans, greens, and turnips so far. No matter how much they get donated – there are always families ready to take home the fresh vegetables and share with friends and relatives.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates from Growing Home!