opening ourselves with the hinging daylight hours

Friday, December 17, 2010


After saving the tomatillo, basil, and marigold seeds the last week the Jr. Farmers and I went for cover from the twenty degree weather and into our art classroom. Here each Junior Farmer designed their garden plots for this next spring. Using cut out vegetable and flower images from previous years’ seed catalogues We laid out our preference and plans for the seasons, saw our designs and culinary preference. We also used the cut-outs to create a game of categories with the botanical vegetable families, one of the key elements in sustainable agriculture.

This time of the year as we harvest our greens from the greenhouse for cooking class we also begin to into what we stored this year, as the earth is hard and frozen now. We wait with great anticipation for the coming of our favorite seed catalogues for this year. Some of our favorites include the Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek Heirlooms, and Vermont Bean. We look forward to learning with you this next year.

Together we transform the land in Camden, we are all transformed within, and together we change how we live. Come and shape Environmental Justice with us.

. The Junior Farmers Program has moved into a new phase. We have three new Junior Farmers, and they have started under a new agreement. Andrea and Eileen Borland, the Treasurer on the Center’s Board of Trustees, collaborated on writing a program for the Junior Farmers that not only teaches them about how their food goes from the seed to the table, but also teaches them about work ethics and money management. It makes opening and managing a bank account an important part of their job. Now, not only are they learning the skills necessary to plant, cook, and preserve vegetables, they are also being taught financial skills. If this seems small, look around and see how many "money order and cash checking agencies" there are in Camden city. Many adults in inner cities have never had a savings or checking account, so to quote Andrea, "It was such joy to see how happy and excited the new junior farmers were after their first trip to the bank to open their very own savings accounts". And, just as important, their parents are being very supportive. Thank you, Eileen and Andrea, for the care and love you put into developing this program for the Junior Farmers. A warm welcome to our new Junior Farmers: Angelo Rivera, Crystal Ausuas and George Vega. I also want to congratulate our former Junior Farmers, Lenny Pena and Marco Cabrera, for being such wonderful workers in the green house and the gardens. God’s blessings on you as you move on. Remember, you are always welcome at the Center.

5. We have three groups scheduled to spend considerable time with us during the first half of the new year. Students from Neumann University, across the Delaware River, will be joining us for a week the first week of March 2011, during their Spring Break. The first weekend in April, we will be joined by people involved with the Grunewald Guild. This is a group of artists who want to explore artistic possibilities while living and working in Waterfront South. Finally, at the end of June, students from Loyola-Blakefield High School in the Baltimore area, will be spending two weeks with us, working in the community. We are quite excited at the possibilities as the Center comes to life. If you are interested in bringing a group for a experiential learning event at the Center, for a weekend or a week, please contact us at for more information.

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