Just for Organization

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The YMCA of the Triangle Youth Gardens

Everyone is hard at work.

Walking out onto the grass along the side of the road, the first thing that came to sight was a large burly man who was in blue. As we walked up the hill and peered around some more, I could see that many others were in the same royal blue uniform; some seemed to be of college-aged but most seemed to be very youthful and vibrant, passionate in their work. All of the counselors were accompanying a group of children who were engaging in hands-on projects. Some of the children were building long and wide, but not deep, wooden boxes (devoid of the top and bottom bases) that seemed to be used for sectioning off area for gardening and composting (raised beds), some were wheel-barrowing dirt and mulch, from mountainous piles, others were then scattering the delivered dirt/mulch in between and into the wooden “pseudo-boxes”. Although there were, of course, some kids who were playing around (they are all children!), however, the system in which they worked seemed to create a self-sustaining community with each person specializing in tasks and with the adults supervising and aiding.
Raised beds is the efficient way to garden. Mulch retains moisture, increasing the life of these plants.

This is the YMCA of the Triangle Youth Gardens, a program that Maurice, my mentor, is creating and expanding.

As you look around past the garden, however, you could see that you are standing in possibly the only “green” land in an eyesight’s radius. This garden is an urban garden. Urban gardens are extremely beneficial to all, for they raise the surrounding property values, they provide a sanctuary for those in need of an environment change, they allow for young-lings to engage in projects that are guaranteed to improve their characters, and of equal significance, they allow for everyone to learn more about the importance of this field and ever-growing industry all the while sparking inspiration and keeping everyone occupied with more favorable outlets than is the norm in urban areas. Urban gardens could only mean good.

Composting from banana peels and coffee curds! The only work involved in this process is done by the worms. Efficient, huh? The leaves are nature's insulator and moisture retainer. (All was learned from Maurice)
The garden was the backyard of a little home that had been renovated to become the YMCA house. Now, once you step into this building, you are filled with a home-y feeling. There are inspirational and motivational quotes on each wall that exude great vibes that every environment should have. In the kitchen, Maurice told us that the kids eat what they harvest, hence, they eat healthily which in return correctly stimulates their minds and bodies.
Yum. Growing food using compost as soil helps enhance flavor and nutrition. The kids love it!

This place really left an imprint on me and on my goals. How can we change the lives of those around us for the better? How can we, bring more fortunate than others, use our guaranteed comfort and tools to help those surrounding us, people and matter? I believe that all problems and issues stem from lack of awareness, lack of empathy, lack of reaction, and an unbalanced equation. Now, how can we mitigate the severity of those things?

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