Grantee Blog 2020

In anticpation of summer!

The month of June was full of excitement for the students at St. Cloud. They were approaching the end of the most challenging year at school and looking forward to summer – vacation time with family, summer camp –  a chance for a sense of normalcy.

The weather was unseasonably hot but thanks to dedication to watering and lots of volunteer help, we were able to produce an abundance of mustard spinach for the Food Pantry at Holy Trinity Church in West Orange, as well as allow students to take some mustard spinach home to their families.

Our gardening guru, Cherie, worked with the students to teach them the “cut and come again” technique of cutting mustard spinach; cutting in such a way that the plant comes back and produces more leaves. The students made a label for their mustard spinach, coloring in a picture of the mustard spinach and writing “I grew this” and signed their name.  It was a proud moment for our young gardeners.

As we approached summer, we were also excited to get some members from the West Essex YMCA’s Board of Managers out to the gardens. Summer is  traditionally a tough time for school gardens, and we were concerned about having enough volunteers to assist with watering and harvesting the vegetables. Fingers crossed we have enough help to get us through!

About the Grantee

West Essex YMCA

The West Essex YMCA, a Branch of the Metro YMCA of the Oranges, is a mission driven organization and trusted community partner in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y has been serving the needs of the community for over 50 years, providing a wide variety of activities and programs in an environment welcoming all.