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3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
United States


Washington Youth Garden

Getting My Hands Dirty

April Martin

Well Hello! My name is Ashley Eskalis and I am the 2013 WYG summer communications intern. I’m a rising senior at Severna Park High School - a musician, runner, and English nerd – and am not really sure what I’ll be studying in college.


I am not a gardener, nor science geek, nor plant expert and working at the Washington Youth Garden is an extreme change from my day to day life. I didn’t know that not all bees can sting you, that there is more salt than strawberries in a pop tart and, most of all, that there is nothing more beautiful than the sounds of birds chirping on a quiet morning. However, as I’ve had the opportunity to plant summer squash, harvest eggplant, and volunteer at Miriam’s Kitchen, I’ve truly gotten my hands dirty.

For example, today:


Imagine this entire plot filled with knee high weeds! That is exactly how this photo would have looked just a few hours before our awesome team got our hands on it.


Once the plot was clean and loosened, we set out to plant carrots and summer squash. It’s so amazing to think that in just a few months our seeds will be sprouting into tall plants!

Harvest me!


Don’t harvest me!


Then, we harvested. I learned how to harvest eggplants. You wait until the cap leaves are just one fourth of the way down the vegetable to know that it’s ripe. Simply pull it upwards to detach it from the plant…a few more steps and you’ll have egg plant parmesan!


Just when I though the fun was over we whipped out the pots and pans and cooked all the food we harvested.


Bon Appetit!