Serve – Nov ’13 Real Dirt

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Gardening with Children: A Labor of Love

Gardening with Children: A Labor of Love

Nancy Denison

I began to volunteer at the Children’s Garden two summers ago and I was hooked!  Susan Kuschell and the Friendly Garden Club have done a fine job of designing and developing the gardens.  During the summer, community groups take a small plot within the planting area, plant and care for their veggies and herbs and then harvest either for themselves or to donate to various food distributors.  It is so much fun to see some of my former students who come with the Civic Center day camp and to help all of the students learn about soil, seeds, and weeds.  Then, there is the thrill when things actually grow and can be picked, washed and sampled. It is a joy to witness their excitement.

I was also a mentor this year for a small group of girls who had a planting plot. We weeded, selected seeds and plants in the spring and then enjoyed the harvest from mid-summer on.  Cooperation, discovery, dirty hands, and reflection abound from all. I know those who volunteer and help out in the Children’s Garden are growing lifelong gardeners every summer.

In mid August, Susan organizes a fun evening to showcase the gardens for families and other community members. Songs, sharing, homemade pizzas and certificates of participation are part of the activities.  This is truly a labor of love for all involved!