As a FoodCorps service member, I have the great fortune of experiencing moments of transformation. From witnessing the transition of skepticism to mind blown on a child’s face when trying a new vegetable from the garden, teachers who strive to integrate environmental education into their lessons, and those students who used to shy away from bees and now move through the lesson’s motions without a care, encouraging other students to just “bee cool…” My heart has absolutely been brimming from these shared instances with those I have the chance to serve.
At Wrightsboro Elementary we have been going through the stages of metamorphosis in the garden spaces. Creating a space for students, teachers, and families to come and unwind, meditate and reflect, as well as find a plethora of fruits and vegetables to supplement their plates with. This space would not have seen this robust transformation if it had not been for the passion, selflessness, and determination that so many folks contributed.
On April 6th and April 19th the helping hands of over 100 students, school faculty, FoodCorps service members, national and North Carolina staff, Feast Down East, and Centripetal Farms, guided the garden space to the fruition that is now the Gardens at Wrightsboro. Excitement filled the air as hands were dirtied by fresh, nutrient rich soil, the ground filled with freshly planted vegetables, zinnias, herbs, native flowers and grasses in front of the school, as well as in the sensory and vegetable gardens. All from seeds grown by students and with donations made by Longleaf Organics, Shelton Herb Farm, The Ability Garden, and Seaside Mulch.
Since these blissful garden build days I have only dreamed of lush spaces with diverse colors, aromatic smells. Accompanied by the sounds of birds and insects flapping and buzzing about. Filled with bountiful fruits and vegetables to fill hungry tummies.
When I ask students if they share these dreams, this bliss, with me there is an unequivocal yes!