Gifford Community and Student Garden, 12/11/12

The Gifford Youth Activity Center promotes opportunities and programs that foster student achievement: the 24,000 square foot facility boasts computer labs, classroom space, an indoor gym, and outdoor aquatics center.

The GYAC philosophy is holistic, yet simple: an engaged, productive child will likely become an engaging, productive adult. To this end, they’ve partnered with local organizations willing to share life-enhancing, vocational skills with the youth community; for our group that meant building and maintaining a community garden:

GYAC Raised Vegetable Beds, 12/11/12John Beukers, (a fellow Indian River County MG) has been the driving force behind the garden since its 2006 installation.  Every Friday finds him working alongside the Student Gardening Club, teaching the logistics of planting…..and importance of weeding. 😉   This is one meticulously maintained piece of land!  🙂

GYAC Garden Solar Panel

In this “Knowing Growing Garden” the students have learned about alternative energy (note the solar panel, bottom right, and portable fuel cell storage box beneath the arbor.).  They’ve worked with clay to design and decorate the pavers; they’ve received an intro to hydroponics via a center pond of homegrown water lilies.

Lily Pond Hydroponic Teaching Tool, GYAC, 12/11/12Before any seeds were sown, the kids painted their vegetable beds in bright and cheery colors: 🙂

Colorful raised beds, GYAC

Then it was down to business, planting cabbages and onions:

Onion Raised Bed 12/11/12


Eggplant Raised Bed, GYAC, 12/11/12

……exotic Daikon Radish greens:

Daikon Radish Greens, 12/11/12


Tomatoes, GYAC, 12/11/12

….and broccoli

Broccoli, 12/11/12 GYAC

Beautiful yields, yeah?  These kids have every reason to be proud of their accomplishment!

But wait….there’s more!

This wonderful teaching space is also an official Weather Station!  (Due to the angle of the sun and the terrible fog that day, I was unable to shoot the equipment in any way worth sharing. :()

To see the real-time forecast, check out the website in the picture,! ..pretty cool!

Until next time……

🙂 🙂 🙂


15 thoughts on “Gifford Community and Student Garden, 12/11/12

    • It is, Esty! The MGs who’ve worked with the kids there say you can’t believe how excited and proud they feel re: their crops. It definitely IS a good esteem builder AND a valuable life skill for their later years.

  1. Thank you so much for a beautiful pictures.Truly Awesome!Very nice a flowers and nice colors.

    • Oh for sure. 🙂 The benefits of everything they’re learning there will follow them well into adulthood. The Gifford area of town here, is home to many people who face social and economic hardship. The center/ garden are a very positive force in the lives of these kids.

  2. Pingback: Paying-it-Forward Christmas Style :) | small house/BIG GARDEN

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