Garden

Barth Elementary students have lessons in the garden

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Howard Charles hands out some oranges fresh from the garden to Barth Elementary 3rd graders. The students got to explore through the fresh produce before the season ends next month.

By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury

POTTSTOWN >> Barth Elementary students got a chance to explore the community garden right next to their school before the growing season will soon come to a close.

Over the course of two days, Wednesday and Friday, every class took some time to visit the garden and learn how it all works.

“We just wanted to make sure each and every one of the students was introduced to the garden. We’re giving the basic understanding of what a community garden is all about,” said Laura Washington, Mosaic Pottstown community garden manager.

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Barth Elementary students decorated pumpkins in the garden right next to their school. The students then laid out their pumpkins alongside the growing produce.

After the students learned about what it takes to grow produce in a garden, they participated in two activities. The children got to decorate small pumpkins then placed them throughout the garden. Students also used chalk to decorate the sidewalk surrounding the garden with images of flowers and suns. An enthusiastic 3rd grade class finished the outing by each student receiving a ripe tomato picked fresh.

The garden is very new to the area and the first seeds were planted in June with an official opening. The community garden has 23 plots and residents of the area were invited to take advantage by planting their produce instead of buying it.

Married couple Charlotte and Howard Charles are at the garden every day and often volunteer when help is needed. The two live right across the street and helped Washington show Barth Elementary students the garden this week. Howard said the kids often visit the garden when school is let out and ask questions. He said the space is a great learning opportunity.

“I just think it’s a great idea for the whole community in general,” said his wife Charlotte.

She said the garden has helped her to meet a lot of new people. The gardeners help one another maintain the plots and share the fruits of their labor with each other as well.

“Now we’re like a big family,” Charlotte said.

“It creates camaraderie,” Howard said.

The couple thinks the community garden was a big success for its first season. Produce grown included peppers, red beets, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots and more.

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Washington said all the mosaic gardens in Pottstown will officially close on Oct. 15 but that Mosaic is always looking for new members to use the plots. For more information about the gardens or on how to become a member, visit the website mosaicclt.org.

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