Wow! I just bit into the tastiest little tomato ever. It may not be as bright red and pretty as most cherry tomatoes I’m use to, but the flavor of this black cherry variety that I ate right off the vine was amazing.
A friend of mine, Lori Thoms, and her partner, Katherine Martin, have started a not for profit corporation called Seeds for Change in Melbourne Florida. These two women have been active in the community for years and are always looking at new ways to give back. They are such wonderfully giving, fun, energetic, and positive ladies.
Seeds for Change is a neighborhood garden (they actually have 3 gardens now and are working on starting a 4th) that utilizes community support and volunteers to grow and harvest fresh produce that is feeding those in need. The garden is growing in an area that reaches out to those residents that are below the poverty level and have little access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Areas like this are highly susceptible to health problems and obesity because they eat what is available which usually includes canned and non-perishable packaged foods with less than stellar amounts of healthy nutrients.
Everyone is welcome to come volunteer in the garden and the feeling of helping others, working the soil and producing delicious food is very rewarding. Lori and Katherine have their “regulars” that are working every Saturday morning along with new people coming out to give a hand. The kids love the “salad boat” which is an old boat with everything growing in it for an awesome salad. They have made raised boxes high enough for the elderly, or others who have difficulty bending over, to still be able to help out and do some gardening.
When I came out for a visit this past Saturday morning with my husband, we were told that they were busy improving their soil and irrigation systems, moving some plants around and redesigning some of their vegetable beds. They are always learning and improving upon their already knowledgeable skills.
I noticed little sprouts and plants growing along fences and in old crates, utilizing every inch of space possible. They used donated materials and even recycled old pallets to build trellises and grow herbs. In a back area they had several compost pits, one even made by worms!
Gardening is an activity that benefits all. You feel physically good about the manual labor you put in to work a garden and make it grow. You feel emotionally and mentally good about the people who you help to feed. And your taste buds feel really good when you bite into that delectably fresh home-grown goodness.
I learned a lot about gardening and took home some helpful tips that I am going to incorporate into my own home garden. I also took home some lunch :)
If you live in the Space Coast of Florida and would like to stop by, or are interested in learning more about the Seeds for Change organization, what they do, and how you may be able to help out your community, visit their website at seedschange.org or visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/seedsforchangecorp. You can also reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way Lori, I made raw collard burritos with the greens and tomatoes from the garden and boy were they yummy. Thanks for letting me visit.
Choosing healthy living over dying :)