Shaver steps down
Iola Children’s Garden coordinator retires
By Holly Neumann
After 10 years of service to the Iola Children’s Garden Dorothy Shaver has decided to call it quits.
“This garden was started by Mike and Chris Ross in 2002,” Shaver said. “They ran the garden together for seven years. After Mike passed away, Chris ran the garden alone for a year after that.”
Shaver has been doing it ever since.
“This is such an important project to keep going,” she said. “A lot of children have no idea where food comes from and they need to know that.”
Their motto is to eat more from the earth and less from a box.
Every child plants a 4-by-4-foot bed of vegetables and flowers.
“We encourage them to plant 75 percent veggies and 25 percent flowers,” said Shaver. “We also encourage them to plant something that they don’t like or have never tried.”
The children seems to take it all in.
“I like everything about coming to the community garden,” said Delilah Kulinski. “I grew pepper, onions, broccoli and beans.”
Kulinski likes to eat them all, but sometimes gives the produce to her grandmother.
“I like planting a lot of good food,” Kaia Anderson said. “I love the green beans.”
At the end of each summer as the Children’s Garden comes to an end, they gathering to read the story Stone Soup.
“It’s pretty great,” said Anderson. “Everyone puts in some of the stuff that they grew. Even a stone. And we all get to eat it.”
The children agreed that they are going to miss Shaver next spring when they plant their gardens again.
Without a doubt, Shaver is going to miss them as well.
“I have seen some of these kids growing up for the past 10 years,” she said. “When next spring comes I am sure I will be torn on how I feel about this, but it is time to turn it over to someone else.”
She hopes that each child walks away with a lot of fond memories from their gardening experiences.
“I am sure I will come back to check and see how each of their gardens are growing,” she said.