Beginning on May 15, Somerville seniors can test their green thumbs by exploring the garden at the Somerville Community Growing Center at 22 Vinal Avenue.
The weekly Saturday event, which is in collaboration with Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, will be open from now through October from 9 a.m. to noon for "Open Garden Saturdays."
"Open Garden Saturdays have been in place for over ten years, as an offering for the community to come visit, pitch in or just enjoy a natural space in Somerville," said Lisa Brukilacchio, Clerk of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Community at the Growing Center. "The Friends" is the volunteer organization that maintains the Growing Center.
However, "This is the first year that an express invitation has been extended to Somerville seniors," she said.
The exact number of program participants can vary. "Last week, three seniors showed up to help --- even though our focus was on Spring Garden Day. They pitched right in and helped to transplant two whole flats of tomato seedlings."
"Generally, seniors will help out with gardening tasks, such as nurturing plants (watering, weeding, deadheading, staking), [and] with luck --- harvesting some tasting samples to share with the day's volunteers," said Brukilacchio.
Each year, the Growing Center serves hundreds of school-aged children, through field trips --- especially the Maple Syrup Project, as well as programs for families and young children, including the Art in the Garden summer program and family-friendly events.
The Growing Center participates in the Union Square Farmers Market, with Groundwork Somerville.