Garden Variety Friendships
Just about any weekday during the summer you can find senior citizens planting, weeding, or hoeing in the shadow of the Southfield Civic Center. The Senior Community Garden is special for more than the veggies and fruit it provides.
“You’re close to nature,” gardener William Aaron told us, “You come out, you plant and then you have an opportunity to watch it grow.”
The property on Evergreen Road was always farm land. It was Mary Thompson’s farm then she donated it to the city and the senior gardeners are keeping it going.
Garden Supervisor is Joe Rarus. He explains, “In 2012 we marked the 40 year anniversary of this Senior Community Garden in operation.” There are 120 garden plots and every garden plot is full.
Gardener Benjamin McSwain likes the garden because “We come together and we learn from each other.”
90-year old Baron Sapp says, “We’re all retirees. And being retirees we get to enjoy each other.”
The gardeners sit under the trees and enjoy the breeze and just being in the garden. They say it’s like being out in the country.
Ambrose Woodford says he and his fellow gardeners feel proud of what they’ve grown, “Especially being a city boy and most of us were raised in the city.”
There is work involved, but it is enjoyable.
According to William Aaron, gardening is like life, “you get out of it what you put into it and if you put something good into it a lot of good comes out of it.”
Click here to learn more about the Mary Thompson Farmhouse.