Greening and Growing with Community Integration’s Garden Club
Lettuce and tomatoes made salads. Tomatoes and cilantro went into a great batch of guacamole. Fresh kale enriched our soups. And tomatoes were the abundant foundation of many jars of salsa, given as gifts at Christmas. These, along with the beauty of blooming annuals, are just some of the fruits of ACT's Garden Club, a project of the Community Integration Program. The Club meets all day on Wednesdays, with occasional extra activities on some Fridays. The cycle that produced the fruits of the Garden Club's planning, labors, and ingenuity has begun again for this the second year the Club as been active. This time of year is particularly exciting. Larry literally tugged Rachel, the Garden Club's staff, out from indoors a few weeks ago to get some work done. Brennan was first to break ground this year. And Joanna planted the first seeds this Spring. The Garden Club's activities aren't limited to tending the garden and harvesting the carrots, squash, peppers, radishes, basil, and parsley produced. Club members also pitch in with weeding and mulching in various locations around the ACT building.They also offer to water the office plants of ACT employees on a weekly basis. The results the Garden Club's participants produce don't just happen. Individuals visit other gardens to get ideas and inspiration. And they plan the garden designs and the work they will do. Plus, they acquire the tools and materials they need. Garden Club members recently visited Strawberry Farms to select and purchase tomato plants that were planted later that day. They've also toured the Urban Gardening project off College Street and Shelter Gardens. It's not just the garden that grows at ACT. The individuals we support grow too as they follow their passions and interests, and actively work in and around the community.