Washington Youth Garden

Washington Youth Garden The Washington Youth Garden, established in 1971, maintains an educational food garden on the grounds of the US National Arboretum and delivers year-round science programming.
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Founded in 1971, we are one of the longest standing educational youth gardens in the country. We are located at the U.S. National Arboretum - 446 acres of green delight located a few miles from the Capitol in Northeast DC. The Washington Youth Garden is a project of the Friends of the National Arboretum with support from the U.S. National Arboretum.

Founded in 1971, we are one of the longest standing educational youth gardens in the country. We are located at the U.S. National Arboretum - 446 acres of green delight located a few miles from the Capitol in Northeast DC. The Washington Youth Garden is a project of the Friends of the National Arboretum with support from the U.S. National Arboretum.

Mission: Using the garden cycle as a tool, the mission of the Washington Youth Garden (WYG) is to inspire children and families to engage in self-discovery, explore relationships with food and the natural world, and contribute to the health and well-being of their communities. The primary goals of our programs are to: a) educate youth and families about the relationship between food, its origins, nutrition, and health; b) connect children (and adults) to the natural world as a place of wonder, exploration and resource for their personal growth; c) expand interest and public awareness of urban gardening and gardening with children.

Operating as usual

Produce distribution update!🥕🥬🧅Next week will be the last week for free produce distribution! The demonstration garden a...
11/13/2020

Produce distribution update!
🥕🥬🧅
Next week will be the last week for free produce distribution! The demonstration garden and partner school gardens are finishing up for the growing season. There are still some veggies in the ground, and lots of cover crop that will protect and nourish the soil in our beds, but for the most part things have slowed down in preparation for winter (just like nature 🌱).

Be sure to mark your calendars or the distribution days:

🔸Wednesday 11/18, 9am-12pm at
KIPP DC Webb campus
1375 Mt Olivet Rd NE
@kippdcschools

🔸Friday 11/20, 2pm-4pm at
Friendship PCS Armstrong campus
1400 1st St NW
@fpcsarmstrong

Take a look at Ms. Alli at the @fpcsarmstrong garden, packing up fresh goodies for the community. The other photos are of some of the produce that will be available to pick up including:
Kale
Chinese cabbage
Carrots
Radishes
Mizuna (and other leafy greens)
American persimmon
...and more!

Will we see you next week?!

The smiles in this partner school update are sure to brighten up this rainy day! ☀️🌱 FoodCorps Service Member Ms. Alli h...
10/29/2020

The smiles in this partner school update are sure to brighten up this rainy day! ☀️🌱 FoodCorps Service Member Ms. Alli has had a blast in the @fpcsarmstrong garden with students at socially distanced open garden hours! Students have had so much fun getting outside to plant 🌱, harvest 🥕, and water 💧while exploring everything the garden has to offer.

DM us if you are an Armstrong family interested in signing up for a 45 min gardening slot with Ms. Alli (one family at a time, socially distanced, and masked).

#gardeningwithkids #schoolgarden #fallgarden #growinggreendreams

FALL 🍂 CROPS.It is mid October and the season is definitely slowing down. Compared to the summer, our harvests have been...
10/17/2020

FALL 🍂 CROPS
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It is mid October and the season is definitely slowing down. Compared to the summer, our harvests have been smaller. But that’s okay because that’s what nature does! As it gets cold, many plants finish their lifecycle or start getting ready to go dormant for the winter.
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However some veggies like the cool weather! Right now we have radishes, turnips, carrots, leafy greens, and cabbage growing at the demonstration garden.
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Sweet potatoes were dug up a couple weeks ago which are now curing (processing the sugars to have a sweeter taste) and we still have lots of luffa growing!
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What fall crops are you excited about eating this fall? 🎃🍁🌾
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#washingtonyouthgarden #youthgarden @fonarboretum #dcgreenspaces #nationalarboretum #urbanfarming #fallcrops

Hey, hey did you know? October is National Farm to School month AND Growing Healthy Schools month in DC! So much to cele...
10/13/2020

Hey, hey did you know? October is National Farm to School month AND Growing Healthy Schools month in DC! So much to celebrate in our school gardens and families homes.

We are always hearing how much folks are enjoying their produce from our free distributions. Well now is your chance to show us what you’re making! Tag or DM us and you’ll be entered to win a WYG tshirt. 👕 They are SOFT and so comfortable 😎

Featured here is a roasted tomatillo salsa with pinto beans (tomatoes from WYG) for tacos! 🤤

Find us at @kippdc_connect tomorrow 9am-12pm and @fpcsarmstrong 2-4pm Friday.

#HealthySchoolsDC #FreeProduce #farmtoschool #recipes #mealprep #foodstagram #yum

Garden 🌱 Transformations!.Parts of the sensory garden at the Washington Youth Garden have gotten a little wild and weedy...
10/10/2020

Garden 🌱 Transformations!
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Parts of the sensory garden at the Washington Youth Garden have gotten a little wild and weedy since we are a small staff at the moment — (we miss our volunteers so much!)
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One goal this season has been to transform some of these patches into more food growing spaces. In one patch there are carrots, radishes, and greens growing and in the other there are onions surrounding an apple tree.
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The team had to weed, mulch, and put compost on these patches in order to get them ready. Check out the before photos and the giant pile of compost!
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#washingtonyouthgarden #youthgarden #nationalarboretum @fonarboretum #urbanfarming #dcgreenspaces #growingfood #dcgardening

The Garden Science team has been prepping for virtual Garden Club to start this week. But it wouldn’t be the same withou...
10/05/2020

The Garden Science team has been prepping for virtual Garden Club to start this week. But it wouldn’t be the same without the ability to be hands on! Here are the materials that each student will receive in the next week, in addition to a Grow at Home kit. Ms. Rita, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Alli, Ms. Serah, and Ms. Allie have created covers for the journals and written prompts inside so it’s easier for kids to engage.

We can’t wait to see you soon! If you’re a family member of a @kippdcspring @kippdcnortheastacademy @centercitypcstrinidad @hendley_es or @fpcsarmstrong student who wants to join Garden Club, head over to @gardenclub_wyg to register your child. 🤩

#GrowingGreenDreams #GardenClub #HandsOnLearning #GardenScience #Explorations

This female praying mantis was hanging out a leaf below the luffa this morning when Emilia and Allie saw her and took a ...
09/29/2020

This female praying mantis was hanging out a leaf below the luffa this morning when Emilia and Allie saw her and took a closer look. What do you notice about her? 🧐🤩

#GardenScience #InsectConnection #PrayingMantis #Thorax #Abdomen #Antennae

Ehren, our Youth Program Educator, grew these gorgeous cobs of Glass Gem & Cherokee Long Ear popcorn!Both varieties were...
09/28/2020

Ehren, our Youth Program Educator, grew these gorgeous cobs of Glass Gem & Cherokee Long Ear popcorn!

Both varieties were revived by the late Carl Barnes, a farmer from Oklahoma who devoted his life to recovering & preserving ancestral varieties of corn lost during the forced displacement of multiple Indigenous nations, known as the Trail of Tears.

They’re not rainbow colored after they pop but they’re still a beautiful (and delicious) piece of edible history 😋

🌽🍿🌽🍿🌽🍿🌽🍿🌽🍿

Popcorn is easy to grow, taking about 90-100 days from planting to mature. Unlike sweet corn which has to be checked for ripeness and picked within a “short” window, popcorn can be allowed to dry on the stalk and picked whenever you’re ready!

Kernels can be popped in a microwave or on the stovetop.

Remove the kernels, place in an airtight container, and store in the freezer for the most consistently and completely popped popcorn!

#washingtonyouthgarden #growathome #growyourownfood #popcorn #corn #heirloom #dcgardens #homegrownveggies #gardening #communitygarden

It was a busy morning in the garden today.  We flipped a cucumber bed for lettuce seedlings, weeded out a whole lot of w...
09/26/2020

It was a busy morning in the garden today. We flipped a cucumber bed for lettuce seedlings, weeded out a whole lot of wire grass, and distributed 176 Grow-at-Home kits to teachers. It is great to see their excitement for hands-on activities in this digital world.

But, you get no pictures of that today- just some lovely snaps from around the garden. There's also beauty in the fall.

#flowers #gardening #gardeningwithkids #fallgardens #falladventures #backtoschool

Fall squash is here!!! 🍁🍂What’s your favorite way to make squash? Here is FoodCorps Service member Ms.Alli’s favorite sw...
09/23/2020

Fall squash is here!!! 🍁🍂What’s your favorite way to make squash? Here is FoodCorps Service member Ms.Alli’s favorite sweet butternut squash recipe!

-1 small butternut squash
-2 tbs butter
-2 tbs brown sugar
-cinnamon
-nutmeg
-salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash lengthwise and dispose of seeds. Place squash in a baking dish and coat with melted butter. Sprinkle spices and brown sugar on top. Bake covered for 40 mins and uncovered for 20 mins (times will vary depending on the size of the squash). It is ready when it pierces easily with a fork. Mash and enjoy! 😋

#fall #squash #schoolgarden #growyourownfood #fallrecipes #gardeningwithkids #fallgarden

🗣 Calling all WYG partner school students PreK-5th! We are launching our Fall Garden Club virtual programming. We will h...
09/21/2020

🗣 Calling all WYG partner school students PreK-5th!

We are launching our Fall Garden Club virtual programming. We will hold two virtual open houses for students and guardians to learn more about what it means to be a part of Garden Club.

We hope to see you on one of the two calls!

***Please follow @gardenclub_wyg for the link to the Zoom calls***

Saturdays in the garden aren't always all moving mulch, compost, and weeding.  Sometimes, you get to try some fresh suga...
09/19/2020

Saturdays in the garden aren't always all moving mulch, compost, and weeding. Sometimes, you get to try some fresh sugar cane.

We're so thankful we get some extra help this fall from some of our Green Ambassadors that are still around this school year. These chilly fall mornings remind us winter is around the corner, so we'll keep pushing to get more harvested until the end of the season comes.

#fall #winteriscoming #howdoesyourgardengrow #growingfood #growingtogether #fallgardens

Okra all over!! Ms. Allie planted these 🌻 in April or May when It was even less clear what service or this school year w...
09/17/2020

Okra all over!! Ms. Allie planted these 🌻 in April or May when It was even less clear what service or this school year would look like. What I knew for sure was that okra grows abundantly well at this site, so when she planted a couple seeds all those months back, we crossed our fingers and hopEd for some pollinator magic. I noticed their large leaves and climbing stems but I wasn’t sure they would bloom before it got cold. Recently when I arrived at Center City, I was greeted by the site of these big beautiful blooms. Across our 4 school gardens we’ve got most of our brassica seedlings comfortable in their new beds; while our okra, tomatoes, and peppers, continue to push out. We are currently planting beets and radishes and signing up families for open garden hours. Don’t forget to stop by KIPP WEBB on Wednesdays from 9-12 or Friendship Armstrong on Fridays from 2-4 for your share of the local harvest

Our radishes and turnips have sprouted are are growing pretty quickly! That means it’s time to thin them..Thinning just ...
09/13/2020

Our radishes and turnips have sprouted are are growing pretty quickly! That means it’s time to thin them.
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Thinning just means removing seedlings that are bunched together in order to create better spacing for the root vegetables to grow. First check if there are any weak or sickly seedlings to make more space in the rows. If all of the seeds are growing well, remove every other one (aim for 2-3 inch spacing) by pinching the plant off by the base. It’s best not to pull them out of the ground because it may disturb the delicate roots of the neighboring seedlings that have started establishing themselves.
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And don’t throw away the seedlings that you thinned! The sprouts that were pinched off to thin the rows are edible and can go on salads or on top as a garnish for other dishes 🌱
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#washingtonyouthgarden #youthgarden #schoolgarden #gardenscience #greenteaching #garden #planting #growinggreen #thinningplants #gardentricks #homegardens #radishes #turnips

Luffa/Loofah appreciation post 💚Do you use one for personal hygiene or washing dishes? Not everyone knows but luffa is a...
09/09/2020

Luffa/Loofah appreciation post 💚
Do you use one for personal hygiene or washing dishes? Not everyone knows but luffa is a plant (not a sea sponge) and it is edible when it’s young!
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Luffa is in the same family as cucumber and grows like a vine. At the demonstration garden we are growing it along the fence and it is thriving! See photos 1 & 2 for a baby luffa fruit and garden manager Xavier harvesting some for produce distribution!
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Luffa is used for cooking in many Asian countries including India, China, and Vietnam. Photos 3-6 show garden coordinator Emilia testing out the luffa curry recipe that was put together by the garden science team. She said the luffa tasted like a crisp, milder zucchini and the curry came out delicious! Be sure to peel the skin before cooking/eating because it is really tough.
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The recipe, along with some dried out luffa from last season (photo 7), is printed out and available at our partner schools during produce distribution every week! Of course you can always message or email us if you’d like more recipes too :)
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How do you enjoy luffa?

Meet Rita! She is our newest Foodcorps service member from Louisville, Kentucky. Rita will be serving at Hendley Element...
09/09/2020

Meet Rita! She is our newest Foodcorps service member from Louisville, Kentucky.

Rita will be serving at Hendley Elementary this year! Her favorite new thing that she has tried from the garden is ground cherries.

This year, her goal is to be able to adapt to reach students where they are with engaging garden science resources.

This week’s garden update is that we have transplanted a bunch of seedlings into the soil at the demonstration garden as...
09/04/2020

This week’s garden update is that we have transplanted a bunch of seedlings into the soil at the demonstration garden as well as at our partner school gardens including @kippdcnortheastacademy, @fpcsarmstrong, @hendley_es and @centercitypcstrinidad
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The seedlings planted were broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and collards which are all part of the brassica genus of plants. They are happy to have a new home!
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However, we have had some unpleasant pest visits — specifically by the cabbage worm! See second photo for the guilty pest gnawing on our kale seedlings.
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In order to protect the brassica plants (also referred to as cole crops), we have covered the beds with row cover. The row cover is a polypropylene garden fabric designed to protect crops from pests but also elements such as intense sun, wind, and frost. The cloth acts as a barrier but is still breathable and let’s sunlight and water through.
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Hopefully this method will help protect the veggies from these pests until the weather cools down a bit.
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What insects do you see in your outdoor space? Are they beneficial or are they pests?
🐛🐞🕷🐌🐝🦗

#washingtonyouthgarden #youthgarden #urbangarden #urbanagriculture #urbanag #youthgarden #dcplants #dcurbangarden #dcgreenspaces #nationalarboretum #fona #friendsofthenationalarboretum

Name! that! plant!There are always so many fun (edible!!) finds @fonarboretum 🌸😍#GuessThePlant #ConnectWithPlants #Garde...
09/03/2020

Name! that! plant!

There are always so many fun (edible!!) finds @fonarboretum 🌸😍

#GuessThePlant #ConnectWithPlants #GardenScience

Wednesdays are produce distribution days around here! We will be at @fpcsarmstrong 9am-2pm and @kippdc_connect from 9am-...
09/01/2020

Wednesdays are produce distribution days around here! We will be at @fpcsarmstrong 9am-2pm and @kippdc_connect from 9am-noon every Wednesday until November. Come get your FREE fresh fruits and vegetables. We would love to see families at those schools, but of course all are welcome. 😍 In the words of @_fragranceoflife , locally grown with love. 💚

#FreeProduce #FoodDistribution #ProduceToThePeople

Today marks the first day of school for most schools in DC.  May this year be the caterpillar that turns into the butter...
08/31/2020

Today marks the first day of school for most schools in DC. May this year be the caterpillar that turns into the butterfly, the flower that becomes a fruit, the bud that blossoms.

Thank you to all our teachers and administrators who work every day to provide the best possible experience for all our students! And a special shout out to the 100+ teachers who participated in the Summer Institute for Garden-based Teaching. 95% of our participants said the Summer Institute was extremely useful (5% said useful), and given what you all are adapting and working toward this year, we so appreciate every moment every teacher gave to us this summer and the kudos!

While we won't be offering field trips to the demonstration garden this year, we will still support schools and students all year long. Want to work with us? We'll be sending out our email of offerings later this week, so make sure to head to the link in our bio to sign up for our email list!

Garden update!! The demonstration garden is currently in a transition of late summer crops slowing down and fall plants ...
08/28/2020

Garden update!! The demonstration garden is currently in a transition of late summer crops slowing down and fall plants just starting to kick off. Let’s take a look and see what is growing!
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Butternut squash is flowering and is starting to have some baby fruit!
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Second wave of beans are coming in. Look how tall they can climb!
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Tomatoes are still producing — here the Sungold cherry tomatoes are matching the marigold flowers that were planted to help organically deter pests with their smell.
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A jungle of sweet potatoes! Soon they will be ready to dig up. Did you know that you can also eat the sweet potato greens? They are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
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A broccoli seedling that just got transplanted into the ground. Let’s watch it grow!
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Figs are starting to ripen on our trees! They are sweet and fun to pick.
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Let us know what fruits and veggies you are excited about growing and/or eating right now!! @ Washington Youth Garden

So much activity at our partner schools this week! We were at @hendley_es @fpcsarmstrong and @centercitypcstrinidad duri...
08/27/2020

So much activity at our partner schools this week! We were at @hendley_es @fpcsarmstrong and @centercitypcstrinidad during supply pickups distributing Grow at Home kits and signing folks up for Garden Club. 🌱

We even had a special guest in former @foodcorps service member @hendley_es Malaika 😍 who is now the DC Metro Program Coordinator for @foodcorps ✨

We even discovered two asian pear trees @hendley_es and were able to pass out a juicy snack for folks! 🍐 So much growth and abundance at the school gardens. 🌶

Here’s to a successful start to the new school year! Are your kids ready? 😍

#GardenScience #GrowAtHome #HandsOnLearning #NewSchoolYear #WhosReady @ Washinghton DC

We have a produce distribution tomorrow at @kippdcschools Webb Campus from 9am - 3pm! We will have a lot of fresh summer...
08/20/2020

We have a produce distribution tomorrow at @kippdcschools Webb Campus from 9am - 3pm! We will have a lot of fresh summer fruits and veggies to distribute that were harvested right from the KIPP Webb garden as well as from the WYG demonstration garden and our other partner school gardens — @centercitypcstrinidad, @fpcsarmstrong & @hendley_es
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Starting Aug. 26, we will return to having our produce distributions on Wednesdays:
- At KIPP Webb Campus 9am-12pm every week
- At Friendship Armstrong PCS 8:30-11:30am every week
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In the photos we have Green Ambassador Aaliyah harvesting some tomatoes, red noodle beans, Asian pears at KIPP, and tomatillos!
🍆🍅🥬🥒🥔
What would like to see being grown and distributed in the community? @ KIPP DC Northeast Academy

Address

3501 New York Ave NE
Washington D.C., DC
20002

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 17:00
Saturday 08:00 - 17:00
Sunday 08:00 - 17:00

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+12025448733

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Proud to be celebrating its 49th year, the Washington Youth Garden (WYG) provides a unique year-round environmental science and food education program for local youth and families. To this end WYG facilitates its four signature programs - Garden Science, SPROUT, Green Ambassadors, and Family Garden Day. Moreover, WYG has grown into a premiere urban demonstration and production garden serving as a favorite destination for the local community, educators, special interest groups, urban planners and countless local, national and international visitors. Washington Youth Garden nurtures curious minds and healthy bodies by connecting youth to food, the land, and each other. History: WYG at the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA) is one of several youth gardens created in the mid 1960's to early 1970's by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the Washington Youth Garden Council. Their goal was to teach elementary school students in D.C. horticultural skills and life skills such as team building, cooperation, personal responsibility, self-confidence and environmental stewardship. Today, WYG has expanded its environmental education focus to include nutrition and cooking education to promote healthy lifestyles through gardening. Due to D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation budget cuts in 1995, the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) increased fundraising efforts and “adopted” the WYG in 1996. In addition to FONA’s assistance, WYG receives generous funding from foundations and individuals, and in-kind support from USNA including land, soil amendments, office and greenhouse space, equipment use and horticultural expertise.

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Registration for our 2018 Rooted In Community Summer Summit is up on our website. The Rooted in Community National Youth Leadership Summit is a conference for high school aged young people involved in the food justice movement. Every summer the summit attracts over 100 young people from throughout the United States and Canada along with 30-40 adult allies. Adults allies cannot attend the summit without bringing high school aged participants and young people cannot attend without an adult ally. Join us and experience: Join youth from across the country to cultivate grassroots leadership, and strengthen the movement through skill building, co-learning, creative arts and direct action. This year is our 20th anniversary and we have a lot of fun stuff in store for you so register before July 1st. #RIC2018
I take it those aren't Safeway strawberries
So excited to see some of you on Monday!
Join us for a Gardening & Nature Photography Workshop on Sun., Aug. 27 from 2-6 pm