Our youth garden interns started in the middle of February at the Food Sovereignty Initiative in Mission and we’ve gotten to learn from and work with them in a variety of areas. We’ve had internship sessions where we have focused on learning about composting and nutrient cycling in your garden soils. We have also talked about soil health and meeting the needs of your plants. In their time with us, the youth interns have helped us to clean out hydroponics systems, start seeds for the systems, and move the seedlings into the hydroponics systems. Furthermore, they assembled a compost bin and helped to start the compost pile at the office by mixing compostable kitchen waste with dry biomass from outside our office. The interns helped to measure and mark wood lengths to build raised beds and the helped to ensure that they were on level ground and were evenly spaced across the length of the beds. Before the COVID quarantine started, the interns also did research on companion planting and created drawings of their ideal raised bed designs incorporating the principles of companion planting and pollinator friendly plantings. We are so excited to get to learn and work with y’all when our lives return to non-quarantine status! Since we’ve been out of the office, we have monitored our interns’ hydroponics seedlings this week and they are loving this first week of spring! Food Sovereignty Initiative staff members have also been busy starting seeds at home. So far, we’ve got onions, broccoli, marigolds, lavender, nasturtium, sweet and Genovese basil, oregano, and rosemary. We’ll start tomatoes, peppers, and more in the next few weeks!Whether you’re planting in pots or the ground, make sure to water your soil before starting seeds. Watering eliminates air pockets, which hinder root growth, and helps germination by increasing the amount of water to reach the seeds. What are you planting this season?