The green thumbs at Creston’s Community Garden have embraced the vision of an inclusive global village, reflected on their new sign.
“I believe we are all one people of this planet,” Marlene Nash, president.
Her philosophy is supported by the garden’s multicultural membership, with people from countries all over the world including Syria, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines.
The 22 members sign up for a plot to garden through the summer. Whatever they grow, they get to take home. If there is an abundance of produce, it is shared amongst members and with the local food bank.
When artist Beth Swalwell was commissioned to paint a new sign for the garden, she was inspired by Nash’s idea of a global village.
She painted a bright and cheery sunflower, with the Earth in the centre surrounded by people of all colours joining hands.
The current crisis in Ukraine inspired her to paint a sunflower, with the use of colours blue and yellow to reflect the country’s flag.
Sunflowers are also the national flower of Ukraine. During the war, the flower has evolved to become a symbol of support and unity with the Ukrainian people.
“Art and gardening… I think that’s how we’re gonna heal the world,” said Swalwell, owner of Art Barn Studio.
“Planting something and then seeing it grow just creates a sense of hope. It’s funny that something so simple as a seed and dirt can produce that.”
Nash agreed with this sentiment, adding that more community gardens are needed to bring people together to collaborate.
“It feels really good just to be in the garden and grow things, to be among nature, the birds, and the bees,” she said.
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