Washington Youth Garden's Demonstration Garden is on the grounds of the United States National Arboretum. We're nestled between Fern Valley and the National Grove of State Trees. You can find us as you walk down the road towards the Capitol Columns (it will be on your right) and take a left at the fork. Our hours of operation are the same as the Arboretum's: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday, with the exception of Federal Holidays.
The one-acre Demonstration Garden is fenced off to prevent our larger fauna neighbors (rabbits, deer, and groundhogs... oh my!) from nibbling, and all of our produce is grown without pesticides.
Here at Washington Youth Garden, we ask that you stick to our three agreements when visiting the Demonstration Garden:
Agreement No. 1: Stay on the path
Throughout the garden we have mulched paths for you to easily explore the area. Unlike grass, which can withstand the pitter patter of little running feet, our growing seedlings cannot.
Agreement No. 2: Pick with (our) permission
Our produce is used not only for our programs but to donate to places like the Capital Area Food Bank as well, and we want to make sure everyone can enjoy what the garden grows. Just ask our friendly staff members and we'll be happy to let you know what's available to taste.
Agreement No. 3: Respect all living things
We have a lot of critters that live in our garden, from pollinators like bees and butterflies to soil dwellers like worms and snakes. We have insects that protect our plants from others that would otherwise eat them, so it is very important to leave them in peace. We also ask you to respect our staff when asked to do (or not to do) something, as your and our safety is paramount.
An important note for unscheduled visits (particularly school groups): From April to October, our Demonstration Garden is used for on-site programming. SPROUT field trip slots are from 10:00 - 11:30 A.M. and 1:00 - 2:30 P.M. Wednesdays through Fridays, and in order for these groups to get the most out of their trip, we ask you to let us know when you would like to come by so that everyone enjoys themselves in the garden with room to move about. We acknowledge that while our garden is public, these groups have paid for and scheduled trips with us usually months in advance. Please call us at 202.245.2709 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to work with you in finding the most favorable time for you to visit.
Who maintains the garden
Farmer Jake is our full-time Garden Manager. You can find him working along the rows, coordinating our Tuesday and Saturday volunteers, and participating in our education programs. With the help of Farmer Aiden Irish, our Garden Programs Assistant, they use their green thumbs to not only grow the produce but to show others how to as well. If you see either of them, be sure to stop by and say hello!
What's growing in the garden right now
Updates straight from Farmer Jake himself:
"The sensitive plant has come to life! The Green Ambassadors also got to try the very first flower buds from the toothache plant today, which was fun to watch. We harvested 390 heads of garlic with a SPROUT group last week, just got our first potatoes out of the ground, and finished off the last of the cabbages. Celery is booming, beets are picture perfect, we've got beans coming out of our ears, and we're just starting to get okra. Tomatoes are a week or two away, and we now have sweet potatoes, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, summer squash, and pole beans in the ground. We're nearly done with our summer planting, and we'll be harvesting more and more over the coming months."
Other WYG Gardens
Aside from maintaining the Demonstration Garden, WYG is presently working with six schools as partners for our Garden Science program:
Center City Public Charter School Trinidad Campus (Ward 5)
John Burroughs Education Campus (Ward 5)
KIPP Webb Campus (Ward 5)
Friendship Public Charter School Woodridge Campus (Ward 5)
Hendley Elementary School (Ward 8)
Smothers Elementary School (Ward 7)