POD Wake County
Childcare Network #61
Childcare Network #61, in Raleigh, NC, has expanded gardening opportunities through the POD Wake Co program by constructing U-shaped raised beds where the children help tend vegetables in all seasons.
The center now has 322 square feet of vegetable gardens. Other additions to the edible landscape are 277 square feet of fruiting shrubs and 5 fruit trees. The children play a role in cooking the produce and enjoy trying new vegetables. A favorite activity is harvesting fresh basil in the garden and using it to make pesto – a snack many had never tried before.
Small trees have been planted to improve existing play settings and to help provide shade in the outdoor learning environment. A five-foot foot wide concrete trike track has increased opportunities for physical activity.
In all, a total of $11,000 has been invested at Childcare Network #61 during the course of the POD Wake Co project. In 2015 and 2016, they received a City of Raleigh Urban Agriculture Award.
We had no idea how much the garden would produce. We wouldn’t be eating so many fresh items if we hadn’t grown them ourselves. The children look forward to going outside… they are calmer and run/play with a purpose. Their physical activity has increased.