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{Disarmed} Magnolia, TX: Community Garden Heals

  • Subject: [cg] {Disarmed} Magnolia, TX: Community Garden Heals
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 12:54:56 -0400

 Garden Helps Healing Process 
Thu Sep 14, 11:23 AM ET 
A garden in Magnolia is a labor of love that has grown through volunteers with a purpose. For the director, Judy Rose, the Helping Hands Community Garden was at first a way to deal with a loved one's illness. 

"When my daughter was first diagnosed with anorexia, and pleading, bribing, begging didn't get her to eat, I had to deal with that kind of frustration," Rose said.
Rose chose to deal with her frustration by getting her hands dirty.
"The day-to-day coming out in the sun, putting your hands in the soil, watching a little seed under tons of pressure break forth and come into new life, I was thinking that is the way it will be for her," she said.
But when her daughter died, Rose said, she needed something more. She said it was God who led her to forming the community garden in Magnolia, located at 31355 Industrial Park Road.
"There were mornings I would be out here every day, and my quiet time would start and end here," Rose said. "That (was a) place to put all that energy and that grief."
Rose said it was hard in the beginning.
"At times when I felt I just could not go to another politician and ask again for land and someone would come along and say, 'Don't give up,'" she said.
And she didn't. After three years, the little garden came into its own.
The community garden offers plots to anyone who wants one, including three with easy access for those with disabilities.
"I spend a lot of time weeding and planting," Rose said.
"It is great to see those little seeds come up and produce," said Carol Stephens, a master gardener volunteer.
The community garden depends on volunteers, although some admit it can be tough during the summer heat.
"It's unbearable," volunteer Marshal Ferguson said.
But Ferguson said it's worth it. He and Aaron Coleson are using their time in the garden to earn a community service scout badge.
"Just to see what you have done already and see how much better it looks when you are done," Coleson said.
"You look at it afterwards -- that was easy, but while you are doing it, it was just like, 'Man this is hard work,'" Marshall said.
The unclaimed plots of land are used to grow vegetables for the Society of Samaritan's food shelter next door. 
"Even if you don't know a thing about gardening, whatever skill you have, it can be utilized in one way or another. It really makes you feel good to come out and help," volunteer Carol Stephens said. 
In the end, Rose has found her peace and in the process, offered it to many others. 
Anyone can get a plot of land in the community garden and use it to grow whatever they want. 
The community garden has a wish list of things and resources that they need. 
Interested gardeners 
Tar paper (used for walk paths) 
Rotted manure 
Mushroom compost 
Wooden lattice (scrap pieces are fine) 
Seventy-five feet of garden hose 
Steel edging 
Newspapers, junk mail and phone books for the recycled paper Dumpster 
For more information or to donate, visit www.magnoliatexas.org/helpinghands or call Rose at 281-356-8743.
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The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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