CULTIVATING YOUNG MINDS,
A GARDEN OF LOVE
When the 2009-2011 Rome federated project, a garden at the South Rome Boys & Girls Club was presented, everyone present said my eyes sparkled. To me it was a perfect project! I could share with children the love of gardening my daddy had given me.
A committee was formed, and I was asked to be the chairman. John Schultz, a local landscape designer, gifted us the garden plan. The plan included 22 raised beds with organic compost, pea gravel walkways, irrigation system, and a gazebo. William James, youth coordinator at the club, was asked to be our “point person." He was not a gardener and not sure he wanted to be, but as the project unfolded, he was our biggest supporter. We sold the beds to people and businesses in the community. Each time we had a need, it took only a phone call and every person we asked for help was there for us.
As the garden took shape the children and staff took ownership of it. They planted, harvested, and shared the food. Youth and staff had lunch from the garden many days. The extra produce was placed at the front door and shared with the families at the end of the day. All the hard work paid off; we came home from the NGC convention a first-place winner.
The most important reward came several weeks later when the children invited John, Mr. James, and this chairman to the gazebo and their garden for fresh strawberries they had prepared for us. The garden continues to provide a growing environment for the children to learn and observe the techniques and procedures for growing vegetables. A garden of love shared by many in Rome, Georgia.
Diane Harbin, Membership Committee
Photographer Diane Harbin