Growing produce to grow in community

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Whitney Laine
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Military families from the 336th Training Group teamed together in the month of May, to transform unkept plots, overgrown by weeds, into the foundation of the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Kids’ Garden Club.

With the intention to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as a community with each other, the SERE Kids’ Garden Club has grown to include ten SERE families, all sharing in the tasks of maintaining the plot.

“The idea of having your own garden can be daunting for a family because you have to put in so many hours,” said Ashley Lynch, SERE spouse. “We reached out to the community and asked if anyone would be interested in a community allotment with the idea of ‘many hands make light work.’”

Coming together for this project has been a great opportunity for those who have never gardened to learn hands-on techniques from the gardening gurus within our group, said Lynch.

Intentional wide rows and pathways have kept the garden kid friendly. Each family rotates on a weekly cycle, bringing their kids to grow, learn and make memories throughout the process.

“Our hard work makes progress that we get to watch grow into food,” said Gideon Lynch, SERE Kids’ Garden Club child. “I’ve learned you have to work for what you want, so we water, weed and plant in the sunshine. After the plants grow enough, we pick and eat them.”

The club has given military families an opportunity to involve their kids in learning the fundamentals and responsibilities of growing produce, while building relationships within the military community.

“The SERE Kids’ Garden Club is a fantastic effort by our families to get kids interested in some of the best parts of living in Washington State – working outside and watching things grow,” said Col. John Groves, former 336th TRG commander. “I fully expect we'll see corn ‘knee high by July!’"