The students successfully planted an avocado tree in the Garden of the Tigers. It was the first tree they planted at the Jones High School living laboratory. They learned how to dig a proper hole and give the tree enough space to grow. “It seemed harder before anyone showed me,” Deion, a current student at Jones High, said, “after Mr. Frank explained it to me, was like ‘I got this.’” Together with his classmates, Semaj and Marquis, Deion planted the first avocado tree at Jones High School.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Garden of the Tigers Tomato Patch is complete. Each student raised their own tomato plant inside the greenhouse then successfully transplanted them into the Tomato Patch. All the plants survived the transplanting phase and now the nutrient dense tomatoes are on their way!
Ladybugs are great insects that love to eat garden pests! Instead of spraying chemicals to remove our problem pests the students released ladybugs inside the greenhouse and got to see a natural (and very effective!) form of pest control. We’re always working hard to limit pest problems and sometimes it can feel like a full-time job. Insects such as aphids, caterpillars, and grasshoppers can do catastrophic damage inside microfarms, but we don’t like to look at them as pests, but rather as parts of an intricate ecosystem that must be managed with bio-mimicry techniques.
Pickers is part of the YMCA’s effort to provide middle and high school students with the tools necessary to unlock future academic and career doors. We teach our Pickers Growing Program at the Tangelo Park YMCA which teaches kids entrepreneurship, healthy eating, and personal/career development through plant cultivation. We were a part of Healthy Kids Day at the Dr. Phillips YMCA where we taught hydroponic gardening and how to grow healthy food. Pickers recently spoke about entrepreneurship at the Seminole County Youth Summit!
At Pickers we are not only passionate about growing and serving the most nutritionally sound food possible. We also want to inspire you to produce your own produce and enjoy teaching about practical ways to grow food for you and your community.