GARDENING WITH GINTER URBAN GARDENERS
Elisa Bennett with other members of the Ginter Urban Gardeners, showing a planting pot made from newspaper.
As I browsed, I stumbled across information on the Urban Gardening cohort and noticed some familiar faces from the first class, John Taylor, and Ram Bhagat. I put on my research hat and started a Google search on “Urban Gardening Cohort + Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.” What I found inspired me. So, without over thinking it, I filled out the application.
In filling out the application, I begin to dream about all the possibilities gained from more knowledge and exposure to urban gardening. When asked why I joined, my reason initially felt selfish, “Because I want to feel confident to build a garden in my own backyard.” Yet, as I went through the 12-week program, I’ve come to realize my statement wasn’t selfish, but instead spoke to a deeper desire that I discovered through the program.
Building a garden in my own backyard — when explored on a deeper level — reflects my personal desire to have healthy eating options without constantly relying on external grocery stores and businesses. This has become especially important for me due to a variety of food allergies. In essence, I don’t want my livelihood tied exclusively to businesses and what they choose to offer to the public. On the simplest level, it’s the desire to be in control of my body and health. Not feeling restricted by the limitations that exist within the local stores is powerful. It’s an extraordinary mind shift and applies to many other areas of my life. I believe such a mind shift can be cultivated and more importantly inspired by the simple act of creating and maintaining a backyard garden, community garden and/or rooftop garden.
Thank you, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Thank you, Duron. Thank you, Hope in The Cities. Cheers and congratulations to my classmates, the Urban Gardening Cohort of Fall 2017! Each of you left a lasting impression on me and I look forward to reconnecting and seeing each of you find and plug into your different passions.
Ginter Urban Gardeners setting stone in the Powhatan Community Center Community Garden in the East End of Richmond.
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