Building a Garden

            Tonight, my family and I ate a salad from vegetables in my garden.

            Okay, I can’t lie: it’s not just my garden.  It’s the class’s garden, and we’re growing it in the back of our school.  On Wednesday afternoon cluster days, our job is to take care of it.  We’re growing tomatoes, lettuce, beans, and all kinds of spices.  We’re the Healthy Hearts cluster, and we had to come up with a project related to our cluster.   Mrs. Smith, my classmates, and I decided together that one of the best things we could do to encourage other people to eat healthy is to grow delicious vegetables to share.  My friends sometimes think healthy food is gross, but it’s actually pretty good if you grow it and prepare it right.  I used to only like candy and junk food.  Now, I enjoy eating salads.  I was hoping that if I brought home a salad to share with my family, they might like it and have it more at the house.  I want my parents to be healthy too because I want them to be around for a long time.  They seem to like the salad, so maybe that’s a step in the right direction.

            My favorite part of making the garden was planting the seeds.  There’s something magic about planting something in the soil for the first time.  It’s like starting a new life, at least as much as a fifth grader can.  When a seed is first planted, it’s the start of a new beginning.  For me, it was the beginning not only of a plant, but also on a journey toward being healthy and helping people around me to do the same.  My parents and teachers take care of me. I take care of the vegetables in the garden.  It’s my way of giving back, since I’m too young to get a job that makes money or to drive my little sisters around in a car.  My dad works two jobs so that he can make enough money to support our family.  My mom puts in long hours during the day, and then she has to come home and cook and clean for us.  Both of my parents look tired all of the time.  There are four of us kids, and our house isn’t really that big.  I wish I could help them more, but I’m only ten years old.  Now that I know how to make a garden, I’ve told them that I want to make my own here at the house.  Then, I can grow vegetables here at the house and help my mom make dinner every night.  I know it’s not much, but I am hoping that the good food and the help making it will make my mom look less tired.  I’m too young to be the man of the house, but I can still help my mom.

            I haven’t always liked school.  Right now, I can speak English much better than I can read and write it.  So reading and writing is sometimes hard for me.  But for some reason, working in the garden comes naturally to me, and on Wednesday afternoons, I always like school.   Now that I see how happy my Mom and my little sisters are when they eat my salad, I like my cluster class even more. 

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