Finding Science in our Garden


Thank you to Yao Afantchao, an Extension Agent specializing in ethnic and specialty crops, for providing the daycare with a donation of several different types of ethnic plants from College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) at UDC.  The plants include hot peppers, waterleaf plants, and jute leaf plants.  The hot peppers, also known as Scotch Bonnet Peppers, are grown in Jamaica, the Caribbean, and Guyana.  The waterleaf is a type of spinach that is grown in West Africa, the West Indies, South and Southeast Asia, and the warm parts of North America and South America.  Finally, the jute leaf plant is grown in tropical Africa.

Simone Johnson, the Director of the Martha’s Table Daycare Program is excited with this new project and the partnership with CAUSES at UDC because of the doors that it will open up for the children.  She explains that “the idea was to incorporate ethnic plants into our current garden and have children watch, experience, and taste new vegetables.”  This conveniently ties into the daycare program goals to stay active and eat healthy foods.  The donation was received on June 7, 2011 and planted by volunteers shortly after.   Since then, the plants have been growing beautifully with the help of Justin Peregoy, the Manager of Food Program, who has been consistently watering and looking after the new additions to the garden.

As we continue to build our knowledge of ethnic plants and the growing process, we are thrilled that Mr. Afantchao will join us for our Science is Fun Night at the end of September.  The goal of the event is to increase parental involvement in science projects that can be done at home with the children.  We hope to have a great turn out and are looking forward to learning more about different types of plants.