Every Sunday I teach at Taking the Reins, a non-profit dedicated to building their four core concepts: responsibility, confidence, teamwork and leadership to teen girls in LA. Last Sunday, our main lesson was on garden troubleshooting and land stewardship where we made a list of things to do when you walk into the garden: watch for pests, check that every plant is close to its drip irrigation, pull out weeds, deadhead and harvest where necessary. Then, one of the students shared her current interest in herbal remedies from native plants and herbs, so I discussed the ecological importance of planting perennials and indigenous species in any garden.
Now it was time to get our bodies moving! Into the garden we went… The picture on the left is from the end of the summer, on the left is last Sunday! After weeding out, clearing most of the squash and leveling, the students gathered rocks and created a team system to pass them, dig, place, and step. It was important also to remind the students that gardens can thrive from imperfections. For example, the ground might be better off not being totally and perfectly level as it can direct water flow to different areas.