Gardening with Friends

Last week we wrapped up a three session “gardening club” we facilitated with The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh. The Friendship Circle is based in Squirrel Hill and works to unite children and young adults who have special needs with teen volunteers to grow and build friendships and enrich the lives of all who participate. Our COO, Evaine, had worked on the design for Friendship Circle’s new rooftop, and once it was completed they reached out to us to see if we wanted to help kick off the space by beginning to green it. We were excited about this new partnership and happily obliged!

At the first session of our gardening club on July 25, we brought pots, soil, and bean seeds and showed everyone how to plant seeds. Then everyone got to play in the dirt and plant their own bean seeds that they would get to water and watch grow on the new rooftop! We also brought planter boxes and transplanted herbs, in preparation for the next day’s activity.

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At our second session the next day, we focused on different plants we can eat. After watering the soon-to-be bean sprouts, we picked and clipped some herbs from the new planters and brought them down to the kitchen, where we put them on our very own pizzas. Mixing and matching herbs was super fun and delicious too!

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The last session was about two weeks later, so the first thing we did was head up to the roof to see how much the bean sprouts had grown. After watering them, we went downstairs to talk about the parts of a plant: stems, leaves, flowers, and roots. We did a craft where everyone got to pick out pieces of yarn, construction paper, and pipe cleaners to make their own plants. We also learned a little bit about plant life cycles and made “dirt cups” out of oreos, pudding, and gummy worms for a snack.

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We thoroughly enjoyed working with all of the amazing kids and young adults at Friendship Circle this summer. It’s exciting to see so much enthusiasm around gardening from such motivated and dedicated young people. We look forward to hearing about the progress on the rooftop garden and working with Friendship Circle again soon!

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