Climbing apple trees and dancing like honey bees with my sisters at the community garden we used to participate in are the images I hold dear to my heart. Those were such fun times for us. I remember being so happy seeing that apple tree. It had branches reaching out towards you, begging you to come and play, climb it’s arms, take cover in it’s shade, and eat it’s fruit. Sour and tart it may be…we loved it because it was something we picked with our own hands. It was perfect to dip with a really spicy and salty dipping sauce my Mom made for us. Since we had to haul water to our plot of land, we’d save milk jugs and fill them at the big tank the community provided for us. It was a big job but a good one for five kids to do. My Mom seemed so happy in her plot of garden. It seemed very therapeutic for her, she’d pull those weeds like she was pulling away some of her troubles.
We’d watch as the gardens around us transformed as well, some people had beautiful gardens full of flowers, the best flowers to look at where the sun flowers. They were huge and always made me smile. My Mom liked flowers too but our garden was all business, we grew things to eat it, not to gaze upon and dream silly little dreams of fairies and nymphs frolicking through the gardens, there was work to be done and mouths to be fed. Still, Mom made our garden look so good and she was very efficient about the layout. One of my favorite things we grew were pickling cucumbers. It was a happy occasion when we saw dozens of little cucumbers on the vines. My sisters and I would race each other to see who could find the littlest ones and then the biggest ones. Most of all we got to eat it right off the vine!
We did help Mom out a bit, but she was glad to be in her own little World gardening and sent us off playing in the fields by the apple tree and we were happy pretending to be airplanes, famous gymnasts, and goofy little monkeys called monk-chee-chees who were mischievous and threw sour apples at each other. It felt good to be out in the open, running around carefree and having a blast with my sisters. Our sponsor, Grandma and Grandpa Hansen had a plot there too and sometimes we’d see them there, that was an extra treat! They were always good for a big comforting hug!
My Mom still gardens and I can see she truly enjoys it, she not only has a vegetable garden, but has flowers planted around her house. This delights me because I know she’s enjoying her life and stopping to smell the flowers. Mom has instilled in me my love for gardening. I’m not the greatest at it, more of a hap hazard gardener, but I’m learning lots through talking with those that are more advanced than I am. Gardeners that I’ve talked to are happy to help and will often times give me extra plants that they’ve divided. I’m to the point where I can now offer some of my plants to others. My friendship garden is based on giving and receiving various kinds of plants to and from others. I love it. Every time I look out into my gardens, I see the faces of my families and friends who have given me a plant here and there. It makes me very happy!
Now that my kids are in school full time I’ve been volunteering at the school garden and it is AWESOME! We just got a grant from Farm to School and I’m so very excited about the program, though I’ve been helping out for about three years now, I’ve been rather disappointed about the low numbers of participants, and will have to admit, I myself haven’t been as helpful at getting the numbers of participants up. I realized this year that I don’t really know much about our school garden…that made me think and I started to ask more questions about it. The more I knew about the program, the more I see the good in it. I’ve been wanting to do something about this…ways I can help this garden grow. I see my kids so happy in it. They pick chives and eat it as if it was candy! They love the raspberry bushes and could stay there all day happily picking and eating them. I’ve watched my daughter’s third grade class come out to the garden all excited and jumping with joy, begging me to find more asparagus so they can experience eating food right out of the garden. kids asking me about plants, what they’re called and saying “can I eat this?” and “Oh I want to try that!”
Being with these children in the garden, seeing them light up when they find interesting things to touch, see, taste, watching them have fun exploring and running around the garden reminded me how very important it is to promote this program. I realized some of these kids never had a garden to grow up with like me. I think every child should experience and be exposed to gardening. What to do about it? I was having a hard time coming up with stuff. Then I saw Jamie OliverFood Revolution inspired Noodleonthat Food Revolution
I hope with this community Facebook, I can spread the word out about school gardens around the La Crosse area. This community Facebook page will be a place where people feel free to share how they and their families are getting healthier and staying active. I believe the stories that the Food Revolution Team post on the site will be inspirational, informative, and motivate others to join in this worthy cause. My wish is that this community will get active and be more involved in promoting a healthy lifestyle. If you feel the same way, please go to the Noodleonthat Food Revolution
Even if you’re from a different country reading this, you can be an active participant just by clicking the like button to show your support Maybe it will give you ideas on how to get your community to have a Food Revolution as well, if anything, it will give you support in living a happier and healthier lifestyle. (I have my Noodleonthat Food Revolution Facebook page to the right hand side of this blog site as well for your convenience.) I’d LOVE it if you share your thoughts and what you’re doing to have a healthy lifestyle. I invite you to read articles from the Food Revolution Team and all the other Food Revolution Facebook
“In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are beautiful.” -Abram L. Urban
“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” – Buddha
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” -Marjorie Moore