Last April, staff and kids at Hays House moved the backyard garden to a sunny spot beside the greenhouse and built three new garden beds with salvaged concrete blocks. North End Organic Nursery (NEON) donated three cubic yards of rich, fertile soil and Edwards Greenhouse donated cash the kids spent on pumpkin starts.
A volunteer from the community came in to help with transplanting the starts and the rest of the vegetable seeds and starts were purchased from Edwards or donated by staff. “I was glad to find a home for the volunteer tomato plants that had popped up all over my front yard,” said Hays youth specialist Dove Rainbow.
Here are some photos of the garden beds that the Hays residents built next to the greenhouse. It shows the gorgeous crop of pumpkins taking over that section of the yard, and a greenhouse full of tomato plants. The Hays garden also produced lettuce, kale, some herbs, and sunflowers.
The kids seemed to really enjoy the physical work of putting together a garden, and residents and staff worked as a team to maintain the garden, watering and weeding it, along with the busy schedule of day-to-day life at the shelter.
The current goal with the garden is to sell each pumpkin for a small donation and use the proceeds to make a donation to another kid-friendly, healthy organization in the Boise area.