This week’s blog comes to us courtesy of three very special live civilly, inc. volunteers – Peter, Davey and Charlie Coriell.  These three siblings expressed an interest in gardening with live civilly, inc. this past summer and became an essential part of the live civilly, inc. Community Supported Gardens.  live civilly, inc. wants to thank the Coriell brothers, and their mother, for the amazing support they provided to the Camden Avenue gardens this summer and to the local food pantries as a result of their efforts.  Next summer, upon their return, they will work with other youth and families to help maintain this wonderful outreach program that they worked so hard on this summer.  Thank you to the Coriell Family!  See what they had to say about this Innovative Youth Service Initiative with live civilly, inc.!

When we were kids, our Dad had a garden and we remember growing beans, zucchini and eggplant.  We moved from that house and from time to time asked our Mom about having a garden again.  For various reasons, we never had one.  Then, this winter after a basketball game at the rec building, our Mom told us that she had found an opportunity for us to garden again.  She had picked up some information from live civilly, inc. in the lobby of the rec building.  The literature said that volunteers would be used for the live civilly, inc. gardens which would provide fresh vegetables to food pantries.  “Why would we want to do this,” we asked.  At that time, our Mom was working at a school in Burlington and she told us that most of the kids in her class had breakfast and lunch in school and that almost all the food was prepackaged.  She said even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was processed food so the kids didn’t get much fresh food and when school is out they depend on the pantries to eat.

So began our summer at the live civilly, inc. garden.Live Civilly Volunteers - Coriell Brothers

At the beginning of the summer, we met Mrs. Farmer, the live civilly, inc. Garden Coordinator (yes, her real name).  She told us why it was important to have gardens like this for the food pantries.  She taught us to water, weed and we helped plant some seeds.  After that, we signed up for a few weeks to take care of the garden ourselves.  We found out that proper watering takes much longer than you might imagine and you can never stop weeding.  One day one of the other gardeners at the Camden Avenue plots asked us about live civilly, inc..  He wanted to donate some of his produce and said we should let the other gardeners there know too.  It was nice to see that what we were doing was giving others the idea to help too.

Our few weeks at the garden turned into more than we signed up for.  When we realized live civilly, inc. needed more help we continued to go every week.  Some vegetables we didn’t know how to grow or when to harvest them and lost them.  The asparagus we didn’t cut on time and it grew into trees.  When we went to camp, the weeds took over the garden and we lost the lettuce.   It was frustrating seeing the weeds take over the garden the weeks we were away after spending more than a month trying to keep the garden clear of them.  However, we did find that the Jersey tomato thrived despite the novice gardeners taking care of it.

Overall, we enjoyed the responsibility of taking care of the garden and had fun working together.  Lucky for us, it was not a sweltering summer.  We would do it again next summer and we hope that more kids will help too.  Hopefully next year we will get more food on people’s plates!

Peter, Davey, Charlie Coriell