Unlikely pairs bond over gardening - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Unlikely pairs bond over gardening

By Sarah Baldwin - bio | email

July 1, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -  It's not every day you see young children truly enjoying the company of their elders. . . and vice versa.  But here in the garden at the Thomasville Community resource center, it's a common occurrence.  "We like helping the grandparents because it's fun for them and it's for us. We've had lots of fun doing that," said 9-year-old Jalin Myrick.

It's a new program called "Grand-partners in the Garden". To help get it off the ground, the Thomasville Antiques Foundation gave a $10,000 grant so they could buy these raised garden beds.    "So they wouldn't have to stoop over.  We just planted some peppers, donated by Tallahassee Nurseries, and some herbs we're doing some starts," said TCRC Garden Teacher Jeanette Boyer-Heerema.

It may surprise you, but the kids enjoy the gardening just as much as the seniors.  "The kids have learned about herbs and growing vegetables in their own backyard," said Boyer-Heerema.

"We have corn, okra, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and egg plants," said Myrick.  Eight-year-old Ashiah Roan added, "We pick sorrell with them or we help pick up the tomatoes over there by the sunflowers."

After the gardening, it's into the kitchen for a healthy lunch made from what they've picked. The time is an educational experience for both sides.  "Lots of learning! I'm learning about all these herbs that I didn't know about, didn't know the name of," said one of the Grand-partners, Calena Bennett.

 Roan added, "Some of the grandparents that are here right now have their own garden at home. Sometimes we can learn from them, or they can learn from us." Either way, they're learning it's nice to share some common ground.

The seniors from the Scott Center come over for a visit every Tuesday and Thursday during the summer. The Thomasville Community Resource Center may continue the program during the school year.

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