Youth Farm Crew and Garlic Beds

Youth Farm Crew 2012
The Youth Farm girls are here! These five young ladies (four of them are pictured left) have started the hard, wonderful, and rewarding work of growing food, and participating in their community in a new way. Throughout the summer these teens will hopefully learn new things about themselves, having a job, working as a team, cooking and growing food, and who knows what else. What I hope, is that they feel like they are a part of something they are proud of. I want them to see, and smell, and feel, and taste their work, and maybe even be amazed by it.

Besides getting our crew together, one of my favorite happenings of the spring is the coming of the garlic. It’s so great to see the Youth Farm garlic crop get better and better as we select and use bigger and healthier bulbs each year. If you have garlic planted in your backyard now is a good time to start pulling back the straw or whatever else you may have mulched your garlic with. Over the winter, mulch is great for protecting the garlic from temperature  and moisture extremes, but at this time of the year we want the soil to warm up, and the garlic to get lots of light.

Garlic 2012

Garlic also reminds me of last year’s crew who planted it in the fall. In particuliar, I’m reminded of the young man named Cristian that prepared these beds. Late last summer, we had been talking about the need to get our beds ready for garlic planting, and he volunteered to work late in order to complete the job. The next morning Cristain was so excited to show me his work.  They were the most perfect beds I have ever seen. He had clearly spent some hours digging, pitch forking, and raking to perfection roughly 700 square feet of bed space, no small job. He then proceeded to show his hard work to the staff at Tom Roy Home, his family, and anyone else who would take the time to see them.  The garlic beds were an opportunity for Cristian to excel, to be useful in his little farming community, preparing those beds was something he was very proud of doing.  Thinking about him, I hope these girls will have garlic beds of their own.

If you would like more information about the Youth Farm and our goings-on, please check us out at and, and check out more blog posts!