Life Coach Magazine

Gifts of a Garden

By Stephanie Jones @1MakeDifference
Gifts of a GardenSeveral weeks ago my friend sent me a text asking me if I wanted to go on a garden walk.  I immediately said yes as I had never been on a garden walk, surprisingly I had nothing planned and it would be great way to spend time with my friend and Godson.Gifts of a GardenBefore the event, she gave me a booklet which was my ticket. It had stories about each of the gardens we were going to visit.  When I offered to pay for my ticket, she said it was on her.  An unexpected gift!

This past weekend we went on the garden walk and had a great time.  The gardens were beautiful and it gave me many great ideas for my own gardens.  But besides the event the day was filled with unexpected gifts:   1.   My friend and I spent three hours laughing as we drove around trying to find locations; getting lost and watching my hair continue to expand as the humidity increased.    2.   We went to a community garden and I saw two signs that made my heart smile:a.   Produce Donation Box Here-Thank You For Your Donation To Local Food Pantriesb.   Veggies for Food Pantry-By Master GardenersGifts of a GardenThe first unexpected gift was that we laughed and laughed some more with no worries of time or the multiple mistakes we made on finding the locations. The laughing shouldn’t have been so unexpected but I think sometimes as adults we get too serious and don’t spend enough time laughing. The next two unexpected gifts were not gifts to me but were gifts community members are doing for those in need.   I had never thought about donating food from my garden to local food pantries. What a great idea! But then my friend Toni at Food Just Sayin  introduced me to The Food is Free Project. 

The Food is Free Project grows community and food, while helping gain independence from a broken agricultural system.  The Food is Free Project is a community building and gardening movement that launched in January of 2012. They teach you how to connect with your neighbors and line your street with front yard community gardens which provide free harvests to anyone.The gardens are built and offered for free using salvaged resources that would otherwise be headed to the landfill. By using drought-tolerant, wicking bed gardens, these low maintenance gardens only need to be watered every 2-4 weeks. This simple tool introduces people to a very easy method of growing organic food with very little work. A wide variety of vegetables along the block promote neighbors to interact and connect, strengthening our communities while empowering them to grow their own food.I love the quote on the The Food is Free website: “Never underestimate your power to inspire and affect your community around you. Even the smallest of acts can really ripple out.” - John VanDeusen Edwards, Founder of The Food is Free ProjectGifts of a GardenThe garden walk was organized by ThePorter County Master Gardeners Association (PCMGA) which is a not-for-profit corporation promoting the art, science, education and pleasure of gardening in cooperation with, and under the auspices of, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service in Porter County, Indiana. I loved to see that they not only hosted events for the community but they are giving back with time, energy and veggies from a garden that they nurture throughout the summer.  Our local food pantries are so lucky to have organizations like PCMGA to support with healthy food.Gifts of a GardenGifts of a GardenAfter the day was over I came home and walked around my yard and looked at the beautiful gifts of vibrant colored flowers God gives to us. My flowers are one of my favorite things in life.  Even though I hate weeding, I love waiting for all of the seasons that produce tulips and daffodils in the spring, lilies and daisies in the summer and mums in the fall. Who knew gardens could be filled with so many gifts?Do you have a garden?  Are there gifts you can give others from your garden?  If so, I challenge you to see how you can share the fruits of your garden with others. I know I will be sharing some squash!Blessings,

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