Grow a Garden - Grow a Community
A new garden is developing in Beaumont, Texas. Growing Community, Inc., a newly formed not-for-profit corporation, intentionally made starting a garden its inaugural event.
The informal working partnership between entities such as Lamar University Community Outreach, Prairie View Extension Project, Agri-Life, the surrounding community and McCabe Roberts Avenue UMC has empowered Growing Community, Inc. to make a big impact in a short period of time.
The garden is located at McCabe Roberts UMC. Each day we come into the garden, children meet us, anxious to work and contribute. We get so excited because the children do not let age or ethnicity dictate their ability to work as a team; their pursuit of a shared vision unites them.
Benefits of a Community Garden
Growing fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs will yield tangible results such as:
· Emphasizing the benefits of including whole foods in one’s daily eating plan
· Teaching youth ,children and adults how to build and plant a garden through coordinated teamwork
· Mentoring and modeling effective management and leadership by guiding youth and children in understanding not only the technical aspects of gardening but also the value of mutual cooperation, respect, safety, and following instructions
· Offering families the opportunity to work together in a way that benefits the family physically, financially, and socially
· Eventually providing employment opportunities through the expansion of skill sets and marketing of produce
· Creating partnerships involving individuals, community and business leaders in ways that do not require excessive dependence on our already overly burdened governmental structures.
The children work hard, laugh and remind the adults of the beauty of laughing while working. They remind us that a brighter tomorrow begins by investing today; that we can groom them to take over. They remind us that Beaumont, the Golden Triangle in Texas and even America, can be stronger. They remind us that when we give the right care to what we plant, not only will something grow, we will all grow together.