What an inspiring Saturday I had, hearing story after story about the work of several community gardeners who were the winners of the Minnesota State Horticulture Society’s Awards. These are folks who understand the power of gardening in community—the power to build connections, to increase understanding, to teach youngsters and to create beauty and food to be shared with others.
The awards, which were presented at a luncheon at Bachman’s in Minneapolis, honor community gardeners, who teach, volunteer and lead, as well as groups, such as the Garden to Table program of the Eagan Resource Center, which uses its food gardens to reduce hunger and build connections; the Gay Straight Alliance of Blaine High School, which created a beautiful school garden–and a more inclusive school environment; and the Soil and Sunshine Club, which has been beautifying its far-flung communities for decades. Businesses, such as Wagners Greenhouse, which provides hundreds of plants for the MSHS Garden in a Box program, were also honored.
Several of the recipients spoke about how meaningful they found community gardening to be. As one said, “Gardening is just as much about growing community as it is growing food.”
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the community gardeners in our area!