POST BY TAMSIN COBB
Senior Library Assistant and Children’s Programmer
As summer comes to a close, so does our Green Thumbs program. We waded through the garden beds and harvested what was ready, wrote in our journals, and packed up the wagon one last time.
But oh what fun we’ve had: from finding caterpillars at our very first session to visiting our honey bees to engineering our own weathering tools to learning from our incredibly knowledgeable and passionate guest speakers. We’ve been so lucky to have Bridgette and Randy from Ontario Seed Company lend their expertise along with Rachel our very passionate and dedicated volunteer.
This program let us go outside, get some sun, and appreciate how nature nourishes us and how we need to protect it. We made some incredible tasty finds: the beautiful aroma of basil, the peppery taste of nasturtium flowers, the fruity smell of ripe tomatoes, and the enormous size of zucchinis.
Our honey bees helped out too! Our garden was covered in honey bees and native bees pollinating our veggies and herbs. Their favourite plant was the purple basil and purple coneflowers! Our bees have had a great summer and have flourished beautifully in their new home. We are hoping to taste some of their honey in the very near future!
In a time where technology captures our attention for most of the day, it was great watching children leap from one end of the garden bed to the other, gasping at what they had found.
So what’s next for 85 Green? Well, our bee keeper Erica, will, be coming in late to early October to extract some honey and prepare the hives for the winter. At the end of October, we’ll put the garden to bed and wait patiently for spring to arrive so we can do it all over again next summer. Over the winter, we’ll try our hand at some indoor gardening projects—stay tuned for more information! And we’ll launch our Tween Scene Foodies initiative which has us partnering with a local chef to offer menu planning and free afterschool snacks!
From the generous donations to the diligent caretaking to the hands-on special workshops, the 85 Green project has been a place where community truly does connect.