Since May 19 and through Aug. 25, on Thursdays, six children are learning how to cultivate, seed, plant and tend a vegetable and herb garden in the rear of Rock Hall Museum at 199 Broadway in Lawrence.
Last Thursday, before a rain shower truncated the hour and 15-minute weekly session, the four girls and two boys were busy painting their flowerpots and harvesting some lettuce and string beans from the garden.
“I like the planting and picking the stuff,” Forrest Gerlich said, “because it comes fresh from the ground.”
The garden club establishes an environment that teaches not only important lessons regarding working the field, but also essential life lessons, Rock Hall Museum Director Linda Barreira said. If the seeds represent ideas in life, the watering and cultivating are what develops the idea and it is the precious fruit the plant produces that is the reward and success of one’s efforts, she added.
Eating the assorted foods they grow is one of the highlights of this program, which is referred to as an adventure and is very much the work of these children. As they have the opportunity to prepare their own salads with radishes, carrots, cucumber, and tomatoes. Whatever they grow they gobble up, string beans, snap peas, and even soybeans get boiled and salted into edemame. The club also fries zucchini outside and makes potato chips that they enjoy as a snack.
The garden club is not affiliated with any of the local schools, but it occasionally receives help from students at Lawrence Middle School including garden visits, where they cultivate and weed the plants.