A Summer of New Growth by Monica Ruser

by | Jun 8, 2018 | News & Notes

About the Author: Monica Ruser is entering her Senior year at Hope College this fall. Over the summer she is interning with Love In the Name of Christ. Originally from Schaumburg, IL, Monica is pursuing a career in the nonprofit sector. We are thrilled to have her on our team at Love In the Name of Christ this summer.

Did you know that your fruits and vegetable that grow in your garden will be higher in nutrients than what you buy at the grocery store? It’s true! Having a garden is an exciting accomplishment and Love In The Name of Christ has a community garden that is full of nutrients and stories to tell.

Bob Beute, who was previously on our board for eight years before he joined the Community Garden crew, loves that he can put his passion for gardening to good use through the Community Garden. Bob said “I love gardening and have a strong desire to help our Life Skills participants. The gardening position combines both.” Because of the passion that Bob pours into the garden, the participants are learning how to provide for themselves. Bob has a few goals for the garden this year. He wants to educate the clients in simple gardening techniques and show them that gardens are simple to manage on a small scale. He hopes to encourage everyone that participates to start a garden based on the skills they learn at the Community Garden.

One of Bob’s goals is coming to life through the raised bed gardening that they are now using. These beds are easy to move and manage which makes gardening more accessible to the community. Because Bob had a goal and wanted to see more people take ownership of their produce, families can eat healthier and spend less money in the process.

Martha Nelson is another amazing volunteer that is passionate about the Community Garden. Martha loves the miracle of gardening and seeing live plants from dead seeds. She “enjoys seeing people warm up to nurturing plants and producing fresh products.” The skills that Martha is teaching the garden participants are allowing them to have more nutrient food and love what they are eating.

Bob shared that “this year the emphasis [of the Garden] is on education and not vegetable production. We want each client to take ownership of their plot and try different things in it”. This way of gardening will hopefully bring ownership to the Community Garden and give each gardener a sense of pride.

The skill of gardening that the participants are learning is allowing for growth not only in their gardens but their lives as well. There is something special about being able to provide food for your family and yourself straight from your backyard. Gardening teaches patience and thankfulness, as we learn these skills in the garden, may we learn how to apply them to our lives as well.