Brooklyn soil was once very alive, producing an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. There still is some remaining signs of the earth’s more bountiful days; the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is one of those signs. The Garden not only has acres of floral splendor, it also has a garden for children. This garden within a garden brings city children closer to nature and acquaints them with farm life.
By the time you read this article the spring session, mainly for gardeners with a year or more of experience, will be well under way. This session runs from February thru June 5th. The summer session begins July 5th, but you should register now. Children must be between 9 and 17 years of age. In addition to planting vegetable seeds on their own plot, the children study various plants, learn to handle tools and write labels for marking the rows. The younger children meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The older youngsters meet Wednesday and Friday mornings. Summer sessions are leisurely, since many of the early enrollees are on vacation.
The beginner’s selection program is more defined than the veteran’s. Beginners grow carrots, scallions, lettuce, cabbages, radishes and a few others, while the advanced group plants tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and summer squash as well.
The harvest is weighed or counted in the Crop Book. The Children’s Garden has recorded such bumper crops as half a ton of cabbage, summer squash and cucumber, with more than a ton of tomatoes, 8,000 carrots and 29,000 radishes. The best part is that the children keep all they grow. Imagine your youngster bringing home 1,000 radishes! Actually, that’s not bad considering the fee for both gardening sessions is just $10. To register your child please write: Children’s Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11225. And you thought only trees grew in Brooklyn.