As usual summer is flying by and our campers are having a fantastic time! The Garden is growing and our campers and Drop-in Program participants are enjoying the bounty of fresh fruits and veggies. A few things are coming in a bit late but there’s always zucchini … and zucchini … and more zucchini (fortunately we have a fantastic recipe for Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake plus a vegan version too!).
With the wet weather at the start of the summer we’ve been arranging snail and slug hunts with the Eco Sprouts Campers and our Drop-In participants. The snails and slugs are gently relocated AWAY from our gardens so they stop eating our veggie plants (there’s plenty for them to eat on the hill or down in the ravine!). A quick snail hunt by those little 4 and 5 year olds each week can easily add up to 100 or more creatures to be relocated! I have to say I think their success is due, in part, to their proximity to the plants themselves 😉
Fortunately hunting for creatures in the garden is a favourite activity for many of our visitors. It’s amazing what you can find! We even have a few snakes that have taken up residence in one of the A beds (for those of you that haven’t seen it from above our garden beds spell out ABC).
There are a few in there … this is one of the little Garter Snakes. It’s only 30 cm or so long. The other one is bigger and probably 50 – 60 cm in length. Here’s their little hidey hole …
When you live in a Garden that is constantly full of children you learn to hide very quickly! These guys are definitely much more afraid of us than we are of them. I’d run too if there was a crowd of 4 and 5 year olds running after me 😉
A couple of the other popular activities that the campers and Drop-In participants have really enjoyed this summer is our nature art projects. Specifically the ones where natural objects are used to colour and draw with. We’ve made many beautiful works of art at the Drop-In program by using leaves and flowers to colour with. Our Junior campers have gone a different route and used plants crushed between fabric to create colourful flags. Campers place different coloured vegetation inside a folded over piece of cloth …
And then pound it with a stone (or in our case old billiard balls found at our previous office location). The end result is quite beautiful!
It’s amazing the different colours you can find in the plant world. While some of our plants are used for art the majority are being eaten by our campers and program participants. Aside from our usual over abundance of zucchini we’ve also had plenty of cucumbers, beans, greens and lots of tasty flowers. Everyone’s had a chance to taste a few things from the garden!
Our Children’s Teaching Kitchen is also well used this summer as all of our Program Instructors cook many tasty treats with the children. Everyone learns that good for you food also tastes good too! We’ve truly enjoyed working in our Kitchen over the past year and are looking forward to many new programs to come! NOTE: Registration for our fall and winter programs starts Saturday, September 7th at 7 am (No unfortunately that is not a typo!).
The Green Roof on our Kitchen is also doing very well this summer. The native Nodding Onion plants have come into their own and are looking lovely as they nod and sway in the breeze.
We’ve had such a great summer so far and are looking forward to the next few weeks! Keep your eyes peeled for our fall programs coming live on the City’s FUN Guide web pages soon 🙂
Hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as we are!