Today marks the seventh week of our Rising Star Internship! Time sure has been flying by this summer!
Today, Region 1 went on an all-day trip traveling and visiting various community gardens throughout our 6 counties. We started the day at the Amigos del Corazon/Friends of the Heart Family Gardens in Rock Valley. We also visited in the community garden in Hawarden, the Community Garden at American Reformed Church (ARC) in Orange City, and finished the day with the Christian Reformed Church garden in Sibley! Each garden is designed and ran a little bit differently to best suit the needs of its community. Some of the different things they do include Hawarden having raised beds near an entrance so those who use a wheel chair can still participate. The Community Garden at ARC has a community orchard with a variety of fruit trees and bushes that anyone can access. Though each garden was different and had its own quirks, one theme extended through all of them- the importance of strong relationships. These gardens help bring together people in the community from all different walks of life. The building of relationships allows knowledge and food to be shared with individuals whom people may not usually connect with. The gardens are growing more than just produce, they are growing communities.
We would like to extend a special thanks to Elly Maas, Tom Chapman, Jan Vander Meulen, and Sandy Lamfers for taking the time to show us these community gardens!