Monday, April 29, 2013
Rather than a typical garden update, I would like to share with you all the amazing morning that I had today at Sanderlin. I've been sick the past few weeks and apparently strayed out of the loop, this became apparent when I was the only one to show up for our shift today, the only one to show up to school at all! The kids had no classes today and Sanderlin was a complete ghost town. I figured I may as well water, and as I was working I noticed the ridiculous amount of vegetables growing- we have sweet peppers galore, cucumbers, squash, greens, and will soon have a giant crop of tomatoes and bell peppers. But I wasn't the only one to notice. It took me a while to realize I was being watched, but I finally saw the small boy peering in from the other side of the fence. He asked me what I was doing, so I explained and then asked him if him and his family would like some vegetables, with that, he sprinted away... Just like that, I thought maybe I had scarred him and he was taking to heart all the 'stranger danger' lessons he's had, but he was gone. I felt pretty bad, but the plants still looked thirsty so I carried on my duties. Twenty minutes later though and the boy was back with his Grandparents. We chatted about the garden, and the weather, and when I once again offered some of my harvest, they told me they would love some, but only if I were to share it with them! I agreed and we made the trek across the road to their small home. We made lemonade, cut up some cucumbers and settled down on their small back patio. I shared with them all about the Peace Patch Project, and it's future goals, they also pressed me to talk about myself and my personal goals which led to the most incredible discussion of environmental and food justice that i've ever been lucky enough to be apart of. The couple asked me a lot of tough questions, and I did my best to answer them, though I learned more from them than I could ever teach in return. They made their grandson sit and listen to me talk about moving from Michigan to Florida for college, and they expressed such gratitude to me, just because I was taking the initiative to further my learning – they explained that neither of them could afford college and so it was their goal for their grandchildren to go, “I'll sell this house in a heartbeat” the man shouted, “as long as my boy can get the education he deserves!” They told me how much they love living across the road from such a 'beautiful experience' and asked me to thank everyone involved in the program. I spent about an hour this morning talking and enjoying the sun with this wonderful family whom I believe i'd never have gotten to meet if I hadn't shown up to Sanderlin today. I feel so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to share our garden with them, and to have learned about their lives in return. They asked not to be named or photographed, but this elderly couple, and their adorable grandson, turned the tables and taught me a lesson this week. As I was leaving their home, I invited them to the Harvest Fest, and attempted to leave the rest of the veggies with them, but they refused, and only accepted half! I'm so proud that the Peace Patch is working with the students from the school, but that it is bringing the community together as well, the family said they would try to make it to the Harvest Fest and wished me on my way, but as I left, the old man slipped me a piece of paper. I leave you as they left me, with a quote/note ; “Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.” Thank you for your work, because of you and your friends (You guys!) there is hope for my grandson and his children's children. God bless, and keep growing. Never lose your sunshine! -H
Wishing you all a wonderful monday, just keep growing!