By Angela Fackenthall
Gloucester City News
On a beautiful summer evening last week, Jayden Tavares smile was shining brightly as he picked his very first red Jersey tomatoes at the Gloucester City Community Garden on Market Street.
His mother, Stephanie Pino, thought it would be a good idea for Jayden to join the Garden group and grow vegetables on his very own plot.
Jayden, 5, had first learned about plants in his preK-4 class at Cold Springs School this past year.
The teachers showed the students the different parts of a flower, and how a plant grows.
Excited by this knowledge, Jayden instantly wanted to start his own garden.
His mom agreed, even though she has never has had much luck growing a garden and is scared of bugs and snakes.
Jayden, on the other hand, enjoys catching fireflies and butterflies with a net.
So how does someone begin a garden without ever doing it before?
Jayden did it with help from friends and members of the Gloucester City Gardening & Beautification Association, including Mick, Miquel, and Mi-quel’s dog, Brandy.
These three always greet Jayden -- and all families -- with open arms and good gardening advice.
Begun three years ago, there are many benefits to the Community Garden, including children eating healthier and growing their own food.
Jayden loves cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes – all of which he is growing this summer.
However, trying a radish, Jayden said, “Not so yummy.”
Most importantly Jayden Tavares has learned respect and love for his community.
He waters his garden everyday, he said, “because they (the vegetables) need their water to grow.”