Travel two hours or so north of New York City where The Sylvia Center prepares to celebrate the arrival of the growing season. Our perennial bloomers are standing tall at the edge of the Learning Garden. The bees are buzzing noisily. And the chickens are roaming through the grass. Finally, our annual spring planting day has arrived.
With the help of over 20 volunteers and staff members, we planted jade green beans, roughly 25 types of tomatoes, bok choy, kohlrabi, a variety of herbs, and several flowers, including calendula, nastersia, and poppies. Working in unison like a band of musicians, we dug trenches, plowed and plopped down compost, picked comfrey leaves, and fetched water from the pump.
By 1PM, the field house was humming with activity and the fire was going strong in our wood burning oven. Staff slid flatbreads into the oven, as our kitchen volunteers sorted through a mountain of freshly picked mixed greens. The tomatoes and onions in the oven perfumed the air, while the asparagus sizzled and charred. Together, we crafted delicate bowls of salad. It was the taste of spring scattered with spotted trout lettuce and basil, and showered with a zesty lemon shallot vinaigrette. The result – an immense bounty of spring on the table and a lot of happy bellies.
Afterwards, we ventured to the Learning Garden one last time to plant over 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. We can’t wait to see them take root and flower into full-blown tomatoes!
Regular volunteer days are scheduled for the third Saturday of the month, now through October, from 9:30am to 2:30 pm (stay for as long or as little as you like).