Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This morning, after dragging myself drowsily out of bed, I visited the Community Tapestry Garden. This garden is located on land donated by St Stephen's Episcopal Church on Cole Road, and is maintained through a very fascinating partnership. The garden is in close proximity to both a retirement community and the Hays Shelter for at-risk youth. Many of the seniors are very knowledgable about gardening, but they lack the physical ability to grow a garden themselves. The youth at the Shelter lack the knowledge, but they have the physical ability. Therefore, this garden partners these two groups together. The youth learn from the elderly and they work together.
Millie Miles, who is an the Advanced Master Gardener from University of Idaho Extension, graciously showed me the garden today. She told me that even though some kids will at first be very distant and think gardening is "stupid", that eventually everyone participates on some level. These levels vary, and due to the rotating nature of volunteers there are no designated plots. Similar to Boise's Downtown Community Garden, there is more of a "communal gardening" approach. The garden has been alive in the minds of gardeners for 5 years, and in the near future they hope to expand to include plots for refugees. This would introduce some designated family plots, and would really add to the diversity of this gardening space! Before I left, Millie and another volunteer loaded me up with some freshly picked basil and oregano straight from nature's bounty. All in all, not a bad visit!

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