Thanks to a local middle school and volunteers, kids showing off a small community garden had the opportunity to learn about over 20 types of fruits and vegetables.
At the Junior Green Youth Farm in Waukegan, the middle schools students showcased their gardens behind The Roberti Community House. 12 year old Cristofer Trejo told his mother how he enjoyed working outside with new friends from the program. “We use straw to keep the dirt moist and to keep the weeds out,” he said. “I’m good at growing things, mom.”
His mother, Maricela Arriaga, was surprised on her first visit to the garden to see over ten beds of vegetables.
“I think this is great. It’s so important for me that he’s not just sitting at home in front of the TV all summer,” she said. “It seems he’s learned responsibility and how to see things through from planting seeds to helping them grow.”
Of course, the children also learned what to do with their harvest. They served zucchini bread and fruit kabobs from the garden to their guests. They also made and bottled apricot jam from a tree that grew in the yard.
“It was really important for them to show their families, not only the things they grew, but how they can cook them,” said Roberti Community House founder, Maribeth Roberti.