On a beautiful Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to attend Troop 33’s Gardening 101 class, and boy was it fun! Troop 33 hosted their event at the amazing Highland Giving Garden which had many astonishing flowers and vegetables to admire and even taste! While visiting the Highland Giving Garden I got the inside scoop on just how this Garden was put together and how it gives so much back to the community.
In February, Mrs. Tracy, the Founder and Caretaker of the Giving Garden, received the approval to begin her vision to turn a weed infested field into a garden for everyone to enjoy. One month later, they began their very first day of work against the weeds. With only 3 people against an army of weeds they didn’t stand down – they pushed through and pursued Mrs. Tracy’s vision by continuing to work to pull the weeds out. April was a big month for the garden because Mrs. Tracy was able to actually start building the garden. All the donations from local businesses and people who donated anything they thought would help the garden grow, were the reason for such a success! In the following months, the first community raised Garden Bed was built and installed. All the produce the garden grows goes back to helping the community by either being donated to local shelters or as beautiful centerpiece or for decorations to be auctioned off.
Troop 33 did an amazing job of using their resources to find somewhere not only beautiful but, built from scratch by someone with such a big passion for gardening to hold their gardening class. Getting to know more about the struggles of the garden really made me pay more attention to the little details in the garden, which made me even more excited to see what Troop 33 had in store for me and my Girl Scout sisters. When we arrived, every girl was given 3 tickets and 1 raffle ticket. One for each of the stations and one to win a prize at the end of the classes – cool, right? Each of the stations had something different to take home to help us pursue our interest in gardening! At one of the stations we were given a clipboard, paper, and a marker to walk around the garden and find and draw our favorite flower. I decided to draw the captivating California Poppy, our state’s flower! At the other two stations, we designed our very own Zen garden and make a planter with either beet seeds or sunflower seeds. I couldn’t turn down beautiful soon-to-be sunflowers, so of course I got sunflower seeds and recently planted them with my little brother who loves gardening and planting cool flowers. It gave us something to bond over all while doing something we both love doing.
In between planting and learning where sunflower seeds come from I was able to talk to the leader of Troop 33 and learn about why they chose to teach a gardening class as their silver project. Turns out, Mrs. Wendy, the troop leader, has her very own garden in her front yard! She believes that gardening helps the girls get a better understanding of where their food comes from and just how their food grows. She also said it gave her girls a lot of responsibility to remember to water and take care of the plants for them to grow. She believes that by giving the girls responsibility and the tools and knowledge to grow their own produce that they will make better and healthier choices in the future regarding their eating choices and habits.