At Shining Stars childcare center in Suamico Wisconsin, we started gardening years ago. We have one section of raise beds, many flowerbeds around the center and a raspberry patch for which we never know how many raspberries we have because the children eat them as fast as they pick them.
I remember one particular young boy who started with us. Adam was a skinny kid with a lot of anger. He was always hitting his friends, but was extremely gentle when working in the garden. At night when his mom would come to pick him up that's where she would find him. Many times he would say, "mom I just need to finish picking these beans before I leave." Most of the time mom would end up working alongside of him.
Mom and dad were going through a divorce, then mom developed breast cancer. We could understand his anger and tried to help him as much as possible but nothing seemed to soothe as well as working in the garden. In fact that worked so well that his mom decided to put in a small garden at home where they often planted, weeded and picked along side each other after work and school.
Adam is growing into a fine adult. He will be graduating from high school soon. His mother is very proud of him, as are we.
We believe in the power of gardens!