Growing Together: Open Forum

 View Only
Expand all | Collapse all

How does your garden help you care for yourself?

  • 1.  How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    COMMUNITY MANAGER
    Posted 04-12-2022 12:33:00 PM

    It's week two of our Kids Garden Month celebration and we're continuing with our weekly discussion. I was filled with so much joy reading all the inspirational responses to last week's post! 


    For those of you just joining the Kids Garden Community and anyone who missed last week's announcement, each Tuesday this month we're celebrating Kids Garden Month with a discussion thread related to the theme "How does your garden care for you?". Everyone who responds is entered into a drawing to win a weekly garden goodie package!


    This week's topic: How does your garden/gardening help you care for yourself?



    ------------------------------
    Amelia Dupuis
    Kids Garden Community Manager
    KidsGardening
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-12-2022 01:48:00 PM
    During the early part of the pandemic, when everything was shut down, my home garden kept me from losing my mind.  I head up a museum, so we had just lost all of our field trips for the rest of the school year, possibly summer camps; I had a staff member who was a nervous and suddenly feeling very useless (she handles our education programs); we had a couple of large events that were canceled, affecting our caterers and rental companies.  It was all just A LOT at one time.  So, I gardened like a mad woman to relieve stress and to socially distance!  Despite supply chain issues and all, native plants still got delivered!   It's been over 2 years now since I last saw any member of  my family -- they live over 1500 miles away and several are highly susceptible to COVID, so I have stayed away rather than risk their health.  So, my garden is still my solace and will be for the foreseeable future.

    ------------------------------
    Michelle Zupan
    Hickory Hill
    THOMSON GA
    7068295394
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-12-2022 01:59:00 PM
    How does your garden/gardening help you care for yourself? 
    Many years ago I trained as a horticulturist, and loved my job!  Well life, family and an international move happened and there was no time or opportunity to garden. In truth I had long forgotten my love for the garden and landscape until I was offered the opportunity to teach children in our Farm2Fork classes. This job also requires me to run the school garden and greenhouse. I cannot tell you how much JOY it brings me to be in the garden and teaching elementary and middle school kids how to garden and make good healthy food choices.  The garden helps me care for myself, because it allows me to escape the pressures of the world and just BE connected to nature. It is a great stress reliever, for which I am so grateful.

    ------------------------------
    Anne Baines
    Cornerstone Prep Academy
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-13-2022 11:15:00 AM
    Our small farm is a non-profit that works with kids from low-income backgrounds through lots of different programs. During the pandemic, we were able to stay "open" because we were outside. However, we had to cut down on the number of kids at the farm at one time which meant I was there a lot more overall. It is definitely my own happy place and a space where the outside world just sort of disappears for me. Between our ducks, goats and chickens, there's a lot of animal love and interaction happening but I was reminded of how this space is a safe space for so many of our kids last summer when one boy showed up with a baseball bat. He had walked the 1/2 mile to the farm carrying the bat and when I asked him why he brought the bat with him, he told me he wasn't sure he could make it safely without the bat. The night before there had been a large gang fight outside his home and his step-dad was involved and the child got involved and he was really frightened. Because the farm takes care of us, he knew he didn't want to miss his time there, but also wanted to make sure he could get there and back without getting jumped. I'm so thankful for this space that takes care of each of us in different ways and in just the way we need it.

    ------------------------------
    Anne Genson
    970-391-2613
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-13-2022 07:57:00 PM
      |   view attached
    The garden is so generous--we can't help but feel cared for! In our area, it has been dark and rainy for weeks...too wet to for planting. Yesterday, the sun broke through the clouds and we had impromptu class in the garden. Even though we hadn't planted a thing, we found an abundance of hairy bittercress, violets, dandelions, speedwells, and colt's foot. We were able to enjoy the bright cheery beauty of these flowers and sample some spring flavors. A day in the garden, soaking in the sun, was just what we needed.

    ------------------------------
    LEONA VRBANAC
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-14-2022 09:58:00 AM
    Just as I need to make sure my garden is getting what it needs, I must make sure I get what I need. I too need to hydrate adequately and I too need to make sure I get enough sun to get my Vitamin D.  In addition, simply by growing fruits and vegetables ensures that I am eating healthy foods and searching for recipes that use many fruits and vegetables.

    ------------------------------
    Karen Stuppi
    Children's Librarian
    New Brunswick Free Public Library
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-14-2022 10:37:00 AM
    Gardening is therapeutic for me, as it gives me time to relax, be outside, and see how my efforts are rewarded with fruits and veggies!  My children love to join me in the garden and grow things.  It gives us time together that helps us to connect and care for nature at the same time.  Gardening allows me to clear my mind and brings such joy to our whole family.  The giant smiles that kids get when they see the veggies we planted grow and become ready to eat makes my heart happy.

    ------------------------------
    Nicole Williams
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-14-2022 10:38:00 AM
    The garden is a space for our staff and students (elementary school) to take a break and be able to dig and explore. We don't take time to slow down during the most of our day, so taking the time to reconnect with ourselves and the earth is a huge blessing for us!

    ------------------------------
    Beth Music
    Sheridan, Wyoming
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-14-2022 11:09:00 AM
    Our garden at school is my happy place!  I am here daily, year round with very few days away from the garden. Seeing the joy this garden brings to our nearly 1,000 students, makes me happier than I could have ever imagined. Being outside and getting my hands dirty brings peace to my soul and to me that is the best kind of self-care.  The pandemic didn't stop us, we still planted and harvested, sharing our produce with families throughout the community and they are our biggest supporters!

    ------------------------------
    Hope Sickmeier
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-14-2022 11:41:00 AM
    Being in the garden reminds me that i need to take care of myself like i take care of my plants. I need to make sure i get the right nutrents, I get plenty of water, and I don't let people step on me.

    ------------------------------
    Ben Lefkowitz
    Foodcorps/ Morgan Village Middle School
    Camden NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-14-2022 12:27:00 PM
    For me the garden provides me with wholesome veggies and flowers that have no chemicals. It is also a way to get some exercise and stretching in, being outside and connecting with nature.

    ------------------------------
    Donna Logan
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-14-2022 02:05:00 PM
    I love this prompt and it was especially apt to have it pop into my email box today as I just spent the morning helping with a school wide event in our partner school's urban learning garden. Watching kids get their hands in dirt and explore helps me remember to find joy in gardening and to notice the little things. This recentering and reconnection allows me to be thankful for these quiet moments in nature and look at my garden work as a blessing rather than a chore.

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Navarro
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-15-2022 03:12:00 PM
    Gardening is a great reminder that you sometimes have to patiently wait for things to happen in your life, just like you have to take care of the plants by  watering and weeding and with this care, you will see great results (yummy vegetables).

    ------------------------------
    Gloria Wilson
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-15-2022 06:29:00 PM
    
    My garden helps me care for myself by providing peace. Whenever I feel upset agitated or sad, I go to my garden andI feel my balance return.  I notice the same is true for my students. Many will come to the garden from the playground if someone is bothering them, it is to noisy, or they just want to be alone. I am happy to share my place of refuge with them. 
    Jessica Pavlak 
    Bayview Elementary 
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 15.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-16-2022 11:20:00 AM
    My school garden has taught me the most valuable lesson of being content. I have noticed over the years how flowers bloom even when no one is watching them. They don't bloom because they want to be better than someone else. They don't bloom to perform or make rank. They bloom because a Great Gardener made them that way, and created them for beauty. They aren't concerned whether I notice, a student notices, nor anyone else. They are just so happy to bloom and keep their faces turned to the Sun. When I get uptight about student performance, annual teacher performance evaluation, and what others think of me, or start into self criticism (which easily I do), the flower of our school garden and of the roadsides and landscapes remind me ~ Be Content. You are created beautifullly and wonderfully and your Gardener God delights in you.

    ------------------------------
    Kimberley Lough
    W.D. Sugg Middle School
    Bradenton FL
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    COMMUNITY MANAGER
    Posted 04-19-2022 01:38:00 PM
    Thank you to everyone for sharing all the ways that gardens can help us care for ourselves. Congrats to @Anne Genson for winning this week's Kids Garden Month prize!

    The next weekly question was just posted​ and I hope you'll all continue to participate and share your garden inspiration!

    ------------------------------
    Amelia Dupuis
    Kids Garden Community Manager
    KidsGardening
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: How does your garden help you care for yourself?

    Posted 04-21-2022 01:33:00 PM
    We moved during Covid after being in our previous home for 23 years. Our gardens were full memories -- memories of building the gardens and working alongside each other, memories of pictures in front of rose bushes in the spring, but also full of memories of friends and family who had kindly passed along plants to us, and who were often no longer with us on this earth themselves. We made sure we brought those sentimental plants with us. We're building new gardens now but they are full of old plants that make us smile -- Oxalis from grandma's house, Tulipa praecox "Texas Tulip" from Karlyn, Irises from Dodie, and more. Digging into the soil and taking care of these plants, and by extension the memories that they embody, ties us to family, friends, and the earth. The plants are putting down new roots and so are we. They are thriving and so are we. When I need a reminder that the rough times are survivable, I have to look no further than the garden and our pass along plants that keep blooming.

    ------------------------------
    [Lara] [Guerra]
    [Science Teacher]
    [The Hockaday School]
    [Dallas] [Texas]
    [lguerra@hockaday.org]
    ------------------------------