They say spring is here in Central Virginia, but I think they lied. I base this on the recent snowfall and 40 degree temperatures we've experienced recently. However, in the middle of the downright freezing start to spring, there is one thing that confirms the new season's arrival: the Memorial's annual Victory Garden program.
This year students from a local elementary school work with adult volunteers to plan, plant, and care for the Memorial’s on-site garden. Since its inception in 2007, approximately 120 students from seven different schools have benefited from this cooperative project.
From mid-March through August, students will visit the Memorial one afternoon a week to work on the garden. The time spent at the Memorial provides many benefits to our young gardeners. For instance, our adult volunteers teach "hands-on" Victory Garden lessons that focus on climate, plant life, history, nutrition, and garden wildlife. Additionally, students stay active while working in the garden, develop a good work ethic, and experience satisfaction that comes from completing a project. Students even get to eat "soil" their first day on the job! (Don't worry! It's only pudding!) Perhaps, most importantly, the program serves another long-term goal to enhance the self-esteem of participating youth.
It is no wonder that the Victory Garden has been so well received and supported by a number of organizations in the Bedford area. The Victory Garden is also one of my favorite programs offered by the Memorial. It is inspired by the wartime gardening phenomenon that helped feed our nation in the 1940s, but it also honors the lifestyle so many of our citizen soldiers left behind to go to war. Maybe best of all, it gives students a chance to get dirty while experiencing a small part of history for themselves.
To learn more about Victory Gardens be sure to check out an earlier post here:Digging for Victory