Reasons why our first Garden Work Day ruled.

[slideshow] Three cheers for Ali Bhai, our horticultural Program Manager, who coordinated RootDown's most wonderful and productive first EVER! garden work day at Jefferson High School. (We remain continually grateful to Kelley Budding, Assistant Principal at Jefferson who makes our work there possible.)

We already have in, a stellar review of the day from Charles Frieder, who in 5th grade was voted most likely to succeed with plants.  It was he who identified nut grass we need to throw out! (rather than compost) less we end up with nut grass in the garden for millenia to come.  (Read his review at the very bottom of this post.)

Here are only some of the reasons why the day was particularly awesome:

1.  Of their own free will, all our Youth Leaders dragged their teenage butts out of bed to arrive no later than 9, some by 7:30 am.

2. People came from near and far to support us.  Some represent their own healthy food/enviro-focused entities.  Check them out! Michel from WECAN; Brandi and Corbett  from the new Two Bits Market.

3. We had EGGS, yes EGGS for breakfast.  We were pushing BREAKFAST today, since we found out some of our Youth Leaders are OUTTA THE HABIT of getting fueled up in the morning.

4. People got INVENTIVE today.  Youth Leader, Luis, who was bummed because we forgot to give him a RootDown LA T-shirt, decided to paint his own (see pics above).  Mark, from Tree People, cut up a large plastic bag, then taped pieces of it to make smaller bags so we could give-away more lettuce (see pic below).

5.  We had SALAD, made with lettuce and snap peas from OUR OWN garden.  This, thanks to the hard work all spring, of Ali and students and teachers from Jefferson's various science, art and design programs.

6. We had MORE lettuce than we could eat before we had to harvest it to rotate in new crops for the new season.  THIS means, we're nearing ABUNDANT mode, and will soon be able to share our food supply with our neighbors.

7.  Warren (AKA Walter as the Youth Leaders call him) came back to join us!

If you're wondering what we did with the ginormous bag of lettuce we harvested (it was much bigger than the DIY mini bag pictured below) - we gave it to a volunteer, Mark, from Tree People who said he'd take it to a cocktail party tonight.  Fresh lettuce party favors.  Great idea!

And now for Charles' review on the day:

It was a pleasure - I'll be back. So many factors make it really great over there. Not a trace of devilgrass for one thing, a good grounds layout, and the fact that it's HS students rather than elementary, which means they can actually do r...eal work. I feel like effort expended will result in something meaningful, and produce results. ~Elsewhere~ I felt like Sisyphus rolling his boulder uphill, only to have it roll down again every time, a real disheartening struggle.

Woot!