I don’t know if it’s our agricultural roots or just our perfect climate but it seems that here in Lansing just about every home I’ve passed has something growing. Some homes are much more extravagant with their landscaping, creating works of living art throughout their property. Some have a much lighter shade of green thumb and keep only their lawn and maybe one plant. I’ve seen tomatoes growing on the roof. I’ve seen intricate gardens with copious agriculture precisely planted in rows or loops. I’ve seen perfectly placed flower pots of brilliant colors filled with equally colorful growing adornments. I also have had to care for a lawn and usually a garden for most of my adult life and know how much work goes into making things grow. Most yards if left alone will quickly become unruly. It takes energy to prune and weed and trim and water and weed again. When I put my gardens in every year the process usually amazes me. I turn the soil, add fertilizer and plant either seeds or small plants. From there with normal daily sunrises and sunsets; thunderstorms and soft rainfall, the plants begin to grow. They grow until flowers come out which then attract the bees and butterflies that fertilize the plants. Weeks later from that initial planting, if all goes as planned, an edible product begins to grow. A few weeks more and you might be enjoying the literal fruits of your labor, if the kids or deer don’t get it. That’s a lot of work and a lot of discipline to reach that final goal. Yet it is one of the most rewarding activities I do. Today with Lunch with a Purpose we started the gardening process with a handful of students at Riddle Elementary School. They eagerly joined us first picking up trash and raking last fall’s leaves. Many didn’t know which plants were weeds or how to even rid the ground of those plants but with a few instructions and the proper tools our small group of gardeners really started to dig in and get dirty. We began turning the dark soil and pulling up weeds that had grown deeper underground. Within a couple of hours we had prepared a large section for their future flower and vegetable garden. There is nothing better than planting a seed and watching it grow.
TJ Duckett works with the students of Riddle Elementary School to plant a garden
Riddle student digging in
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