Washington High School Interactors like to get their hands dirty on the weekend, especially if it is digging and planting in their favorite spot—Growing Together: A Giving Garden. The community garden located at 2nd Street and Glendale Avenue grows food for those in need in the community.
“It’s one of our favorite service events,” said Jill Green, who advises the Interact Club. “It is awesome for the students to see the gardening process start to finish each season. And knowing our harvest is going to those in need is a bonus.”
“I love going to the community garden because it’s a fun and easy way to give back to the neighborhood,” senior Daniela Rosa said. “You get to learn a little bit about agriculture while at the same time working alongside your friends. The best part about gardening is getting to harvest your crop after all the effort you put into planting and caring for it.”
“Gardening is a great opportunity to get down and dirty by doing different things like weeding, composting, harvesting and much more,” added senior Joseangel Gonzalez. “It seems like a lot of hard work, but knowing it is going to food pantries and local foster homes definitely makes it all worthwhile.”
The garden has set up an Adopt-a-Bed program where a group plants and nurtures a plot through the season and 90 percent of the harvest is donated to those in need.
“We typically have 20-25 families and groups adopting a bed each planting season,” explained garden volunteer coordinator, Judy Walden. “All donations support our watering needs, supplies, seedlings and seeds.”
“We are excited about learning to take care of another crop this season,” Green said. “Last season we had fun with our pepper bed and all that went with making it a successful harvest.” This year the team will be planting broccoli in their bed.
Interact is sponsored by Sun City Rotary and has 250 members who complete more than 60 events each year.
Growing Together: A Giving Garden began as a vacant lot in November 2009 and has harvested more than 4,000 pounds of food, received 1.800 hours of volunteer service, and serves four local shelters and needy organizations that typically go without fresh fruits and vegetables.
For more information, visit www.growingtogetherphx.org.