Belmont Library grows its own ‘Green Team’


Justin Som

The Green Team used newspaper to mold the pots for the seeds, and then deposited soil into them.

Justin Som, Staff Writer

Newspaper. Soil. Water. A variety of different vegetable seeds. These are the only things that the Belmont Library’s “Green Team” needed to begin its goal of creating organic produce in the gardens of Barrett Park.

The organization is the product of the collaboration efforts of Teen Service Librarian Kayla Marie Figard and UC Master Gardener Kathy Stamm. Modeled after the Cupertino Library’s “Green Team,” the group hopes to create its own organic produce and educate the community on how it can grow its own waste-free food alternatives.

“I wanted to create a [Green Team] for a long time,” Figard said. “At the end of last school year, I received a letter about how some teenagers went to buy plants and they felt good about [the experience]. They asked me if I could do the same for the library, so I contacted the Master Gardeners and we formed the ‘Green Team.'”

At the Green Team orientation on March 27, seven youths attended and assisted in preparing the seeds for their closely supervised growth from April to July. Molding old newspapers into the shape of cans, the members then poured soil half an inch deep into the makeshift pots, and deposited different types of seeds into each container.

By growing the seeds inside newspapers filled with soil, the most optimal arrangement of the plants can be created on a tray. Instead of watering the top of the plants, only the tray itself will need to be watered, which will allow the plants to soak up water directly from the bottom of its newspaper contained and into the roots.

“I thought it would be pretty cool to help out in a garden and give out the produce,” said Abygail Lan, a senior who is a member of the Green Team. “In the future, I hope that we get a lot of produce so that we can get a bigger garden and donate some of the things we grow.”

To be a member of the Green Team though, dedication is required to maintain the plants. Each member is expected to give an hour a week in service to the plants. By having consistently good care, the Green Team hopes to have strong saplings by July.

“Growing organic food, teaches people to be self sustaining and to eat and grow organically,” Stamm said. “UC-based research will allow for people to learn waste-free ways to grow their own food themselves.”