Denis is a rising high school junior in Springfield, MA, and a Junior Staff member with an unbelieveable organization called Gardening the Community. We were lucky enough to hear Denis speak about the organization, and asked him to author a guest post.
This is Denis Z, Junior Staff, from Gardening the Community (GtC) youth program, in Springfield, MA. Here at GtC, as well as being completely for community, we’re all about ‘go green’ or go home. The premise of the GtC program is pretty simple. We hire youth from around the neighborhood, teach them how to garden organically, in pieces of
abandoned land, and we show them how to get involved in the community. We hire from the community, we work in the community, and we sell to the community. We teach kids how to sustain themselves by gardening extremely delicious and organic foods, instead of being dependent on the big corporations and the numerous corner-stores. We grow all sorts of fruits, herbs, flowers, and veggies, from raspberries to okra, sage to watermelon. Both staff and students are strongly encouraged to ride bikes to and from the garden sites. I myself pull a trailer that holds all of our market equipment and produce, to and from the markets, which occur two times a week.
GtC is a wonderful way for young kids around the neighborhood to experience a job-like commitment, get some outside time (which kids in today’s day lack), and make a difference in the community. We use rain barrels to water our plants, hand-held, muscle-powered equipment to work our soil, and even some of our own compost from our ever-growing compost pile. Gardening the Community is an ideal program for those who care for their health, and the health of their neighbors. It brings together people of all sorts of
nationalities, genders, religions, and beliefs. After starting my third year, I’ve already acquired a vast amount knowledge on gardening, made a ton of friends, and realized how important it is to keep my body healthy, with sunlight, organic and whole foods, and lots
of physical exercise. Here at Gardening the Community, we strive to make a difference in the lives of next generation, so that they too can make a difference, when their time comes.
Watch Denis speak with the Western Mass team and see why we are so inspired!
We encourage you to follow GtC on its own blog: http://gardeningthecommunity.blogspot.com/