Dawson Stice at the Little Sprouts Children's Garden in Berryville
I ran into Dawson Stice on Sunday while he was working in the Little Sprouts Children's Garden, which is located behind the First Christian Church on East Church Street. Sweat poured down his face in the near eighty degree heat and there was plenty of dirt under his finger nails.
Dawson, the son of Dave and Jill Stice of Berryville, was planting vegetables he had grown, with other children from First Christian, from seed. "These are still babies," he said, as he put 10" stalks of Indian corn into the ground. "But they will start to grow up really fast because we're taking good care of them."
Dawson got his start as a gardener in the congregation's Community Garden last year, and this year progressed to the Junior Master Gardener (JMG) program at the Berryville Intermediate School. While lots of kids are involved in both First Christian's gardening project and the Walker/Floyd Outdoor Classroom garden at school, Dawson loves both and seeks out extra chances to get into the dirt and grow things.
"I like shoveling, and making the ground smooth so I can put plants in it," Dawson says. "If you pull weeds out and water the garden enough you can get a lot of good food from it. I'm really good at basketball, but I'm even better at gardening."
I asked Dawson if people could come and look at the garden and learn more about how hard he, and the other children, are working to make it both productive and beautiful. "Yes," he said. "We want everybody to come and see it. Maybe they will get to be gardeners like us!"
The Community Garden and Little Sprouts Garden at First Christian Church are located behind the Church at 306 Church Street in Berryville. Dawson invites you to come and see it.
That's a good idea.