The last two Wednesdays I was immersed in the Growing Eden program, surrounded by the laughter of children and their mothers, and a lush thriving garden. We hunted for peas – secret green treasures hidden among green leaves. I held the plant steady while small hands pulled determinedly, until the pea pod popped free. Then we carefully placed each pea into the basket, and the hunt continued.
Meanwhile, a cluster of mothers gathered kale and edible flowers. ‘You can eat flowers?’ led to a discussion about all the lesser known edible parts of the garden. We also harvested about a million green beans and a few beets. One mother admitted that she detested eating beets, but offered one to her 1 1/2 year old – who ate it like an apple – and nearly ate the whole thing!
The resulting salad was abundant and delicious – the cherished result of seeds planted so many months ago, by the Growing Eden participants. There was an sense of glowing pride in this salad, shared by a couple dozen women and children as part of lunch. It seems innately empowering, growing healthy food you can feed yourself and your family.
I had a great time at Growing Eden, and felt welcomed by all the regulars. I’m already lucky enough to spend almost every Tuesday afternoon at the Pearson Garden Club and it was fun to spend time at another part of Farmers on 57th!