Gardening with Gabby: Learning as we Grow

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By Dawn Ferencak

Sales Representative

Hello, this is Gabby. I'm back again! I just want to share that the garden has been doing well and new changes have occurred. The zucchini and Swiss chard are growing. The bell peppers are still developing. 

The collard green and Brussel sprouts are struggling a little bit. The collard greens have holes in the leaves and the Brussel sprouts appear to have some type of fungus. We have contacted a Master Gardner through the Cook County Farm Bureau and the University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Program to come out to the garden and help us to find a way to get rid of the fungus and prevent bugs from eating the produce.

The garden brings peace to our community. We see a lot of violence in everyday life. It is not alright, so our work in this garden brings peace because people just walk past and say, "This is so pretty!"

-Gabby, Garden Leader   

The 2016-2017 youth garden in Austin has been very productive and off to a great start, with minor challenges to a few of our produce. Students have the opportunity to learn valuable skills to use as a platform to bring awareness to the community by building community through the garden. Students have expressed concern about the recent gun violence in the Austin neighborhood. Our students have been working to help maintain the garden and are proactive in noticing the changes within the garden, as you'll see in the comments from our 11-year-old blogger, Gabby, and her friend Markell, below.

You can read more about the garden, which is part of Mercy Housing Lakefront's summer youth program, in our earlier article at this link.

-Dominique Davis, Resident Services Manager, Mercy Housing Lakefront


What I like about the garden is that the garden is growing a lot and we have some very hard workers. I just want everybody to keep working hard. We are growing fruits and vegetables, which we sell by the pound to people within our community to give them fresh fruit and vegetables. We are planning to have our first community garden market within the next two weeks.

-Markell, Co-Garden Leader            

Email: Twitter: @Dawn_Ferencak

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