Sunday, April 19, 2009

We plant because we love it

So this morning, after a quick breakfast at Baltimore's hip Common Ground cafe, Rebecca, co-founder of the fabulous City Blossoms program, helped me toss Ollie in the back of her truck and we headed across town to check out the impressive efforts of the girls at Garrison Middle School.

Clearly there were examples of artistry and creativity all around, from the brightly painted tires recycled as bulb planters to the plastic soda bottles finding a second life as makeshift mini greenhouses. I loved the overt joy and excitement that informed every moment of the discussion with Rebecca as she showed me around the site and told me about the amazing Growing Girls and Gardens program that was empowering young women in the community. From planting and harvesting vegetables and herbs, to creating a welcoming communal green space, to producing their own line of "Nature's Beauty" herbal products that they then sold (and quickly sold out of!) at the Waverly farmer's market last winter, Rebecca has seen the group of 6th-8th grade girls grow up before her eyes.

Gardening has the potential to open the door to so many things: "Maybe they'll think differently about food, about seeking out healthy choices. Or maybe they will understand how their actions impact the environment. More than anything, though, I hope that their involvement with these projects helps the girls to realize that they can make positive changes in the world around them -- make things more beautiful, change things that are wrong, stand up for their ideas." In a single breath, Rebecca had articulated so much of the appeal of gardening with youth and the potential it holds.

There is some talk of the girls selling some of the seeds that they collected and dried from last years flower and vegetable crops. Stay tuned to the City Blossoms news to see when and where you can get them and help support this exciting work!


  1. I think that soda bottle mini green house is a great idea.

  2. I love this post! Full of optimism and color, I'm itching to get in the garden myself!

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