Harvesting Artists at Memorial Garden (Part 1)

“I sing I believe I see my community and I love all I see”

-Naisim, Memorial Garden Sprout

What is beautiful about the inside of an onion? How do patterns grow organically in our garden? What does a cinquain poem have to do with a cicada? These are a few of the questions that youth at the Memorial Garden Kid’s Club explored this year as they investigated art and environment together. Finding inspiration in a bug, a carrot or a friend is a daily occurrence at the garden, and on each day the young gardeners molded words, clay, seeds, soil and water into expressions of their unique visions. From the first warm days of spring to scorching summer afternoons to the blustery fall, art guided Memorial Garden Sprouts and Veggie Kids through their exploration of their garden and their community.

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Seasons Drawing by Emani Morris
Memorial Garden VeggieKid

Dyube is one of the most dedicated VeggieKids and comes weekly to the garden with his two younger brothers in tow. While he often maintains a tough exterior he is an enthusiastic and creative participant in garden activities. So it comes as no surprise that with only an empty water cooler and two hands he transformed an everyday journaling activity into a full blown garden poetry slam. One early summer day when the Juneberries were ripe and the plants in our plots had turned from sprouts to full plants, we gathered after an afternoon of watering and weeding to reflect on the garden. While we were preparing to journal and discussing different types of poems, Dyube shared that he had learned about acrostic poetry in school and taught the other kids how to write their own. Some preferred to write free verse or rhyming poetry but when it came time to share our work, Dyube took to the drums with his brother Lavon and created a beat to accompany each young poet’s words. Under the shade of a tree and the June breeze we listened to words and drum beats blend together as they spilled into the streets and shared with the neighborhood a love and appreciation for their garden.

(Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3!)

– Addie Ansell, UTC Program Staff

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