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Leading kids in gardening

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Dec. 2nd, 2015 | 11:34 am

Last Wednesday, 13 students from Reynolds Learning Academy came to NCNM to volunteer.  They worked with Brian Landever, Advancement Officer of Campus Beautification, in planting Rose of Sharon shrubs in front of Spaulding House, and transferring many medicinal plants from the Galen’s Way Garden into pots.  These were then lugged over to the front of the academic building, transforming the entrance ways into fragrant pathways.  Holy basil, rosemary, ceanothus, and oregano filled the new pots, and have started a theme for the gradual greening of the entire campus. 

Reynolds Learning Academy is a vocational school for teenagers who haven’t received enough support in life.  They enter into daily, hands-on vocational training in order to build the skills they need to become master carpenters, journeymen, iron workers, landscapers, and more.  Mindful of this, Kathy Stanford, Director of HR, gave them a formal welcome in the Ken Harmon Community Room.  Brian then spent two hours explaining how to landscape to client interests, describing the aesthetic and medicinal benefits of Rose of Sharon, how to establish proper watering systems in gardens, how to curate gardens, and the how many of our Min Zidell garden’s plants are used medicinally.  They were enthralled to be able to sample typical home spices like coriander right from the garden beds, and were filled with questions.

The NCNM community also made these students feel welcome.  When they entered the student lounge for lunch, NCNM students invited them to use the tables, the society of cultural diversity invited them to share the potluck they prepared, WishGarden Herbal Remedies provided them with 20 minutes of lecture about their wonderful botanical formulations and even sent them home with samples, and the ping pong table provided a rare lunch time treat for them. 

Their teacher, Angie Gilbert, recently called with many appreciative remarks.  She explained that these kids need people in their lives who value and respect them, who are willing to teach them according to their interests.  The entire community of NCNM made this happen during their first visit, and the kids are excited to continue to return for more projects.

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