Garden News Blog

A Harvest Reunion

In early October, nine of this year's Junior Botanist and Plant Investigator (JB/PI) participants and their families returned to BBG for our annual September harvest reunion. Inspired by the sunny, crisp fall day, families dove into their harvesting duties. We amassed 117 pounds of fresh veggies, including 46 pounds of ornamental ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Goblin’s Eggs’ gourds!

The harvest reunion follows five weeks of hands-on learning for our young participants. The JB/PI program is a full-scholarship experience for students that have participated in Project Green Reach (PGR) during the school year. Teachers nominate students to the JB/PI project who have shown a particular interest in, and aptitude for, the study of botany and horticulture. The JB/PIs grow vegetables in a 2,000-square-foot section of the Children’s Garden, learn the basics of nutrition and cooking, and conduct scientific investigations in BBG’s student lab.

Part of the day’s aim was to prepare the garden for another year, so families raked over the empty sections of plots and sowed clover as a cover crop. The clover will serve to fix nitrogen in the soil, enriching it for the next plants—and for the next crop of JB/PIs.

All that gardening made us hungry, so we fortified ourselves with popcorn, made from the corn we grew over the summer. We even fashioned dolls from the cornhusks we’d saved and dried. Trying to create well-proportioned figures definitely made for some good laughs!

A hard day’s work at its end, we went our separate ways, but we look forward to seeing the JB/PIs again at Ghouls & Gourds on October 29!

Sara Epstein is Project Green Reach coordinator at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.


  • Sushma kewal November 7, 2012

    I did a summer camp program back in 1996, I think this was this program. Do they still do the holiday reunion?

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Harvest Reunion
Sorting veggies at the JB/PI Harvest Reunion in the Children's Garden. Photo by Sara Epstein.