CREEC Greenhouse Youth Group report February 2018

By Kay Smith

February was quite a productive month at CREEC. The youth group worked a total of 8 days. A great deal of weeding in our demonstration gardens was accomplished. Some may have been a little too weeded, however, it is exciting to get to try new plants in the gardens.

In the weeding and pruning of the gardens we were able to make a large variety of all the different plants. The clone table has an abundance of possible plants rooting.

Visiting my friend, I came across a planter full of tangerine seedlings planted by her neighbor. CREEC Greenhouse usually doesn’t grow citrus trees because of their high water needs, but with all of my new students and all of our Native Forrest about to sprout this Spring, we needed a lesson in how to transplant sprouted trees. The 24″ by 8″ pot of seedlings came up to 57 baby trees, gallons and 4 inch pots. All the new students know about transplanting baby trees now. We can handle our oaks and toyons with care when they sprout!

The demonstration gardens are very nicely weeded and mulched with the exception of the very last bed. We made great attempts but the rain and hail put a stop to finishing. We will just keep weeding(in my Dory voice) The students had a “snow day” when it hailed making ice castles with the 5 gallon pots full of hail from our shade that came down over CREEC’s tables and tables of plants. Our youth group worked very hard to remove the hail from the shade cloth and then stand the poles back up so the plants were safe. James Smith and Roy Rubick Smith came and and helped us with the corner posts because we called. They are heroes!

The students also potted up trees and flowers, herbs and vegetables, and clones as they become rooted. There are multiple flats of seed pots sprouting inside and outside of the greenhouse. We will be crazy with seedlings soon! Students check the acorns every work day; no sprouts yet; buckeyes sprouted though!

The following students participated at CREEC Greenhouse in February, 2018:
Yabisi Rodrigues, Emyah Moore, Lavell McElroy III, Anthonett Myers, Trinity Hill, Travon Stokes, Eleni Panteleakos, Jazarya Foster, Elijah Murphy, and Nakylah Arnold. Besides James Smith and Roy RubickSmith, we have our Ms Sonja New and her husband, Matthew, and Miylek Anthony volunteering to make CREEC Greenhouse 💞 an even more beautiful treasure under the bridge! There is always lots to do and see at CREEC.

Thank-you to all who contribute to CREEC, and to the board of directors who allow CREEC Greenhouse to be such a positive influence on the youth who participate and the butterfly habitats that are grown. May CREEC Greenhouse continue to educate and inspire people to give butterflies a place to grow long after we are gone!

CREEC Greenhouse Youth Group Report December 2017

December was a busy time at CREEC Greenhouse. The Youth Group had nine work days and were very productive. Even though all of our students aren’t able to be present every work day due to each one’s circumstances, we do have a dedicated group trying to make a difference.

Dr. Dean Kelch continued to bring in more acorns for even more oak trees to sprout. There is the possibility of a very large forest about to be born lurking at CREEC! We also potted up tree seedlings to tree pots and transplanted oaks, maples, buckeyes, bays, and willows to 5 gallon pots.

We cleaned out the clone table. potting up the many different kinds of plants started. Of coarse, we have done our best to fill it up with all kinds of new possibilities to grow. People also call clones “starts” or “cuttings”. It is very exciting to see which plants will make roots and grow into beautiful plants. Pine trees never clone, but almost all the other perennial plants will.

The students spent considerable time recycling soil. We moved our work table and scooped the soil up, using the soil to transplant trees into 5 gallon pots. We were surprised at how much soil had been spilled over time and potted up more than 40 trees with it.

CREEC’s garden starts for your winter garden are looking nice. We have 4 inch pots of broccoli, cabbage, kales, red cabbage and collard greens. we have gallon pots of horseradish. We also have salad planters for cut and grow again consumption. We also have herbs of many kinds. Vegetable starts are $1 each.

On December 9 we did more planting in the Restoration on Dowrellio Drive before CREEC Greenhouse. We took out dead plants and trees and replanted live ones. We also picked up litter. Our previous planting day in June was 103* so quite a few of the big trees didn’t grow. With the cold weather and rain our newly planted babies will grow well.

As always, our pots need weeding. I am happy to report that most of our students know their weeds and are pretty efficient at the job. Each pot needs weeding at least once every few months. It can be quite challenging to keep up, but must be done. I say in my Dorry voice, “Just keep weeding”!

I would like to publicly thank Mrs.Sonja New. On October 28 she stopped by CREEC Greenhouse and asked me about volunteering. I told her about the signing of the legal form and she did. This beautiful human being has made it her business to be at CREEC Greenhouse every work day taking on curb appeal and big  organizing projects. She is amazing, getting her husband to help, getting the students to do more, always helpful and kind, making the plants beautiful, even bringing me coffee! Thank-you Mrs. Sonja New.

The following students participated at CREEC Greenhouse in December, 2017: Levelle McElroy II, Elijah Murphy, Yabisi Rodriguez, Daniel Warring, Mamadou Sisisko, Trinity Hill, Anthonett Myers, Nakylah Arnold, Rosa Stevens, and Audrey Leveque

Thank-you for allowing CREEC Greenhouse to continue to be the wonderful treasure we have in Crockett under the  bridge. I hope more people will come find out all about the wonderful ideas and concepts that we can all do to make habitats for the butterflies and birds too.

CREEC Greenhouse winter hours are Saturday from 10-2 and Wednesday from 1:30-4:30. We hope to see you there. Free Native strawberry plant to new visitors.

October 2017 CREEC Greenhouse Youth Group Report

CREEC Youth group has had a very productive October. With new students finishing their community service hours, they have the knowledge to really make a difference. The enthusiasm and energy is infectious as the students get more involved in caring for the plants.
Infectious energy
We weeded the many beautiful roses, Natives and heirlooms, for nearly 2 weeks! It was horribly pokey, especially so because blackberries came from under the tables to bramble. I told the new students that this was the hardest job we might ever do, if they could manage this task! They learned all of the weeds and many of the self-seeding Natives in weeding those pokey roses. They learned how to remove blackberries from a planting bed as well.
We potted most of the trees in 1 gallon pots to 5 gallon pots; they are labeled, mulched and watered under shade recovering from the move.
We cleaned off the clone table. The many plants rooting on it were potted up. There were roses, many kinds of herbs, trees, grapes! We are filling it back up again, fast!
Acorns of all kinds were collected and planted. The seed pots are put in a large 1/4 inch metal mesh cage so the squirrels and rats don’t eat them. We also planted native cherries, maples, bays, toyons, walnuts and pine tree seeds. It will be exciting to see what comes up!
The youth group continues to just keep weeding. The roses were hard, but everyone knows what the weeds are now. Inside and outside the greenhouse our CREEC Youth are turning into compulsive weeders, I am very happy to report.
We’ve moved peppers inside the greenhouse, hoping to keep them warm. We are trying to clean out and make room for up and growing seedlings of all kinds starting to grow.
CREEC Youth are propagating winter vegetable starter plants for home gardeners. We have Egyptian walking onions, horse radish, sweet potatoes and many kinds of herbs for sale now.
The youth group has continued  planting around the mulberry tree in the parking lot. We’ve planted purple passion vines on the fence. The butterflies are going to love it!
The following students participated at  CREEC Greenhouse in October, 2017:
Tony Neely Jr., Trinity Hill, Anthonett Myers, Yabisi Rodriguez, Madelynn Newton, Audry Leueque, Tara Mahannah, Alexa Larson, Jazarya Foster, Jadelyn Evans Rivers, Armanii Wehr, Nakylah Arnold
The CREEC Youth Group Winter hours are Wednesdays 1:30 -5:00 and Saturdays from 10:00-2:00. Feel free to stop by and see what’s coming up. There is always lots to do and see.
Thank-you for allowing CREEC Greenhouse to be such a treasure under the bridge, allowing all of us the opportunity to learn about the beautiful plants and trees in the Carquinez Region.