Gardens are symbols of cooperation

Published 9:09 am Thursday, February 8, 2018

Dear Editor,

As a Centre College student, I know how easy it is to remain separated from the Danville community. But as luck would have it, I have wiggled my way into some of the local action and conversation. And I couldn’t have done that without some dirt.

I am a gardener and, like many others in Danville, I care about my food and the ground from which it comes. Yet, gardens are always a surprise. “Oh, you have a garden?” “Oh, there’s a garden here!”

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Despite the growing food consciousness I have witnessed in this community — I’m tipping my hat to New Hope Food Pantry, Grace Café, farmers markets, the Mary Akin Herb Garden in Constitution Square and other personal gardens around the city and surrounding areas — I have found that gardens are not recognized enough, nor are they recognized for what they truly are. In essence, I see a garden as a physical product of cooperative human and biological efforts, a manifestation of social values, and a practical solution to some of society’s failures.

In my experience, gardens inspire random acts of kindness. I am currently involved in developing gardens at Centre College and Morning Pointe Senior Living and have stayed informed about the direction of the school garden at Tolliver Elementary. Already, these gardens have generated a wave of hope and empowerment for those involved.

There is something about a garden that, not only grows food, but cultivates kindness as well. And a sustainable community is, at its roots, a kind community. This emerging network of gardens gives an opportunity for a network of kindness, generosity, and connection that transcends age, gender, class, race, and country of origin. If you are interested in cultivating kindness, or simply eating some fresh tomatoes, find a way to join this network of community gardens, the Community Gardening Coalition. Welcome, there is a lot of room to grow here!

Margaux Crider