Raab Youth Garden has great harvest

POULSBO — As older kids everywhere prepare to bid summer good-bye for the school year, smaller kids were doing the same at the Raab Park Youth Garden.

Monday marked the last summer event for the kids-oriented garden. Kids were once again invited into the garden for fun with Master Gardener Peg Tillery. Activities included making sun prints with clippings from the garden, a talk about spiders, insects and other creepy crawlies and a chance to make an edible spider out of marshmallows and pretzel sticks.

Garden volunteer Donna Paulson said the turnout for the last youth garden activity was not as large as the first steppingstones activity, however, the kids seemed to be having just as much fun.

Fellow Master Gardener Ann Pyles said the entire summer had been a success for the youth garden in her mind.

“Our attendance has been phenomenal,” she commented. “What I find so amazing is the ratio of adults to children. We had 515 kids and 316 adults attending our 2003 programs. That is a ratio of 1.63 children per adult. What other youth program has that kind of consistent parental and grandparental participation?”

The Monday events, offered throughout the summer, each included a planned activity, the session included time for parents and children to do their own thing among the garden plants. Among this week’s most popular activities were digging, filling miniature wheelbarrows, watering and weeding. Older kids got a kick out of watching Master Gardeners hack corn stalks up with a machete for the compost piles.

This week was the first time twins Petra and Marit Ellerby had visited the garden. They were very intent on helping mom Patty pull weeds and other things to add to the compost pile. The sisters garden at their Poulsbo home with mom Patty Ellerby, who said the twins love time outside.

“Marit loves to pick things and Petra loves to water, so we have a pretty good division of labor going on,” she added.

Patty Ellerby said she used to bring older brother Benjamin to the garden when he was younger but took a break until the twins were old enough to visit, too. Ellerby said she was impressed by what she found upon the family’s return.

“They’re doing so many things here, it’s just fantastic,” she commented.

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