Returning to her Roots

I was delighted to attend the ribbon-cutting on Thursday for the Elmwood Elementary School garden. I had been notified of this event several months ago by Sandy Bell, the organizer of this amazing project, after she had read my blog. Other schools in Naperville have gardens that have been successfully producing vegetables and fruits for several years. However as I had mentioned in my previous blog, Elmwood School is dear to my heart since I once walked the halls of the school as a student. I eagerly awaited the date of the ribbon-cutting for the garden as I was also hoping for a tour of the school that I had not visited for… let’s just say many years.

During the time that I was attending Elmwood, my family was cultivating a community garden plot provided by the Naperville Park District. Back then, the community garden plots were not located on West Street; rather, they were located on 83rd Street, on the grounds of what is now Springbrook Golf Course. On any given Saturday afternoon (and some weekday evenings), you would find us at our garden plot. After we had finished our Saturday chores (each of us kids had a list with jobs that had to be completed and inspected before we could be “released” for the day), we would pile into our ’65 Chrysler Newport and drive the 3 ½ miles to our garden plot.

As was the norm for our family, each of my siblings and I had a specific job for the cultivation and ultimate harvest of our garden. My job consisted of pulling weeds and assisting in the harvest of the cucumbers, beans, and tomatoes. To this day, I still enjoy the meditative process of pulling the weeds in our yard, especially after a good rain. I am sure the students at Elmwood School will carry the lessons they learn from tending a garden into their future. One thing I know for sure, they will love the delicious fruits (or vegetables) of their labor!

Diane Ramonas
Donor Relations Officer

Read more about the Elmwood Elementary Garden by clicking here.