Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Spring is just around the corner, and the gardening class at the Renzi Center will begin a new season of planting. The kids have already started planting seeds for the cool season crops, and will soon have a brand-new greenhouse to start tomatoes, peppers, and other warmer loving vegetables and fruit. Our new greenhouse was made possible of course by the generous grant from the Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners, along with cinderblocks, compost, and other materials for additional raised beds on our new land. That’s right, the Renzi Center recently purchased the plot of land adjacent to the academic house for more gardening, parking, and other uses. I’m always very excited for this spring season, but this year will be filled even more with construction projects in the garden, which will allow for more beautiful produce.
I can’t wait to see the kids getting dirty, maybe despite their parent’s wishes, while they dig for worms and grubs. I can’t wait to see their running and screaming reactions during the hot pepper eating contests. I can’t wait for them to find buried potato treasures, and eat kale right off the plant like a dinosaur. But most of all, I can’t wait to see their faces as they learn something new about gardening. One of the best parts of the class is showing them where food comes from, and what it looks like growing on the plant. Food doesn’t just magically show up in crates at the grocery store. Instead, there is a beginning to the story, where roots spread into fresh earthy compost that the kids create themselves from carbon and nitrogen containing ingredients they found in the yard. There is a wonderful tying together of nature and our diet, which is something that these children are rarely taught in school or at home. The Renzi Center is an amazing place that I am privileged to be a part of. Gardening and teaching children are two of my biggest passions, and I am forever grateful for the Renzi Center, where these dreams come to life.
-- Charles Thompson