08/11/06 — Library's junior gardeners share 'tea,' visit with local seniors

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Library's junior gardeners share 'tea,' visit with local seniors

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 11, 2006 1:47 PM

Wayne County Public Library's junior gardeners spent some time with a few new friends at Sterling House Assisted Living Thursday.

Five of the visitors placed potting soil, then begonias and dusty miller into a pedestal urn, which was in turn presented to the Sterling House, while eight other youngsters were busy in the kitchen. After that, the whole group shared tea with their new friends.

The gardeners were members of the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County who have been taking part in the Garden of Understanding project, which pulls together a team of gardeners from a wide range of ages and cultural backgrounds.

The cooks were from the 4-H Try Team, also participants in the garden project.

Resident Emma Holland said she always had a garden, but she said, "I don't miss it one bit, especially having to pick butter beans. I can go to the grocery store and get what I need."

Ms. Holland considers her stay at Sterling House a temporary exile. She said she is looking forward to going back to her home near Seven Springs.

She and another resident, Thelma Barwick, lived close to each other just beyond the Lenoir County line. They married first cousins, who are now both deceased.

Mrs. Barwick, too, was a gardener back home. She grew up on a farm.

"I think it's pretty," she said about the little urn garden.

The refreshments were ready, and the 4Hers brought out the goodies, pudding topped with cookies they crushed themselves, and lemonade. Each guest brought out one cup of pudding and one lemonade to each resident.

The residents beamed at the youngsters, and the treats were quickly gone.

Joyce Goforth said she belonged to an Extension club back home in Wilson County and did gardening, cooking and canning.

"I think it's a wonderful program for the children," said Ms. Goforth, who is originally from Texas.

Ten-year-old Cheyenne Craft poured Ms. Goforth more lemonade. She has been involved in the garden project since its beginning in June.

"I like it," she said, adding that planting the seeds was the most fun part. She had never gardened before the project, and she said she would like to grow a garden of of her own.

Her 9-year old brother, Bryan Craft, said he thinks the garden is "pretty fun," too.

"It's fun because you get to play with dirt and find worms and play with them," he said.

And the garden is coming along well, Bryan said. The sunflowers are getting big, he said, "and we're getting corn and peppers now. The tomatoes are doing pretty good."

It was time to clean up and head back to the library on Ash Street. The visitors left for the van two-by-two, shielded under an umbrella from the afternoon shower.

Twelve-year-old 4Her Sara Davis said she enjoyed learning a little about gardening from the younger members of her group.

"It was actually a lot of fun," she said. "We decided with our agent, Mandy Barnes, to come back at least once a month if we can."