Generations Gardening Together at the Monroe County Public Library brought together seasoned gardeners with some pint-sized wannabes. We were there collecting folks’ gardening and food stories.
Jacqueline Lovings works at the library, so she was able to spend some of her workday helping out. A self-proclaimed gardening addict, she remembered an early memory of working in the dirt:
When I was really little (it was sort of a bad memory), my mother had filled a flower box with purple coleus seeds. She was out there planting, you know the ladylike planting with the little gloves. It looked like so much fun so I decided I’d join in. After she finished, I went and picked up the little ‘seeds’ and put them in there, only my seeds were little tiny pieces of rock — I filled it with pea gravel. My mother came out and was quite annoyed. So, she tipped the window box and refiled it and started over. That summer, our whole side yard was filled with purple coleus. People would stop and tell her how gorgeous it was, and she didn’t want to tell them it was because she got mad and dumped the box out and started over again.
Meg Logan brought her six kids to the event. Not only did she want them to get their hands dirty, she wanted them to spend time with seniors. She looked on as her daughter Jenni rolled balls of dirt in wildflower seeds to make seed bombs:
My second daughter who is now six was born with Sensory Processing Disorder. She spent the first three years with lots of symptoms: screaming fits, her senses were overwhelmed all the time, very similar to autism. We embarked on changing our diet radically, going back to eating organic, whole foods, all made at home, nothing processed. And my daughter, within three weeks, was a different person. Now, she’s been on the diet almost two years, and nobody can tell she has the disorder.
Julia Karr’s station had a half dozen starter plants: oregano (the pizza herb), basil (which goes in spaghetti sauce) and dill (for pickles). She retired earlier this year, so she’s enjoying finally having time to work in her garden.
When asked why she thought it was important to teach kids how to garden, she talked about the big picture:
I was thinking about that the other day. I was digging through the compost, and there are a lot of worms in there. As soon as I was done and moved on, the robins immediately showed up. I thought, the robins eat the worms, the worms have helped the earth already, then the robins poop them out. It’s like this little circle of life. I think it’s really important for kids to see that because I think they’re more resilient even than adults are about stuff like that. If you start early, it moves into all the different aspects of life.