In order to create resilient food systems and increase access to healthy and local food, we must first cultivate knowledge in the minds of the seedlings of the human family--the youth. This Tuesday WILD teenagers aged 14-18 hailing from Cleveland, Garfield, Franklin, West Seattle, and Summit High Schools joined Garden Crew at the Danny Woo Community Garden. Each week they will be participating in our Garden Crew, starting indoors planning for spring, and eventually gardening outdoors as the sun begins to set later in the evening.
For the first week of WILD’s Garden Crew, students grew their own knowledge of food justice by first learning about how plants interact with the big and small living and non-living variables of the garden ecosystem. Participating in an interactive game developed by WILD staff, youth played the roles of different garden actors, ranging from seed and sun, atmosphere and soil, to worms, bacteria, and compost. In order to show how plants interact with the environment around them, WILD youth simulated the nutrient, energy, carbon, and water cycle and even went as far as learning about how drought, industrial agriculture, and climate change affect natural growing cycles. More importantly, WILD youth discovered that through carbon sequestration, plants and food production can actually mitigate climate change and protect the environment while nourishing healthy communities.
Finally, after putting themselves into the unseen world of the garden ecosystem, WILD participants took the first step towards growing healthy food in their own communities by selecting, learning about, and planting seeds in indoors. Now that they know how to give seeds the best chances of reaching maturity, WILD youth will watch their seedlings grow and mature in the indoor seedling station until the time arrives at the end of the winter quarter to plant those seedlings in the Danny Woo Community Garden and elsewhere in their own neighborhoods. As with plants, the food justice movement takes time to grow and put down roots but, it always begins with planting a few seeds, both the seeds of knowledge and some literal seeds in our case. Both will take time to grow, but we’re already expecting a bountiful harvest for the future!
The Danny Woo Community Garden is a 1.5 acre edible growing space located in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown/International District. The garden has been a place for elders to grow for over 40 years and is also home to a children's garden, chicken coop, and outdoor kitchen. Visit us at 620 S. Main St., Seattle, WA 98104.