Orange County Master Gardeners have been sharing their love of gardening with the classes at North Early Learning Center by helping them prepare and seed a Children’s Garden which will grow vegetables.

The Master Gardeners prepped the beds last week, and then Gardener Sandra Hoke working with Head Start Teacher Dolly Gauthier, met Tuesday with NELC teachers and students to plant individual classroom vegetable garden beds.

Hoke greeted the classes and told students about the vegetable they would be planting which varied by class:  mustard greens, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, carrots and swiss chard.

Then students each planted and watered their seeds.

Students also stuffed a scarecrow which they hope will keep birds away from their garden.

“Master Gardeners like Sandra Hoke make it possible to keep our garden going. We could not do everything that needs to be done without them. The children loved working in the garden and look forward to watching their plants grow and tasting the vegetables,” Dolly Gauthier, Head Start Teacher said.

Classes will now water and care for their gardens, and hope to enjoy fresh vegetables later in the year.

The NELC Children’s Garden will also have a flowerbed to attract butterflies. Mexican milkweed is planted for the Monarch butterfly and the students hope to plant passionflower vines soon. The children annually watch caterpillars grow into American Painted Lady butterflies. The bed will serve as a release site for those as well.

The individual garden beds were built two years ago with a donation from Home Depot. Frey’s Nursery donated decomposed granite for a garden path. Other garden items will be added throughout the year.