Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program
By R.L. (Compiled from journal entries written throughout the month.)

I think it’s been amazing to see how wonderful all the plants, vegetables, flowers etc. have turned out in the garden lately. I have to admit that when it was twenty degrees outside and snowing and there I was planting seeds I thought to myself, “These people must be crazy…”

My favorite thing so far has been harvesting strawberries. They were so sweet and delicious. I sampled a couple as I went along.  Anyway, even though the heat is crazy hot out there, I’ve still been enjoying learning all the new things about the garden and the different uses for all the types of fruits and vegetables. It’s been a really rewarding experience that I’m very thankful to have had a chance to participate in.

I received some exciting news this week that I may be moving out [of emergency shelter] in the next couple of weeks. It’s kind of bittersweet for me, though, because there are a lot of things I don’t want to have to leave. When I think of these things, the garden is definitely one of the first things I hate to leave behind. I feel like I’ve been a big part of how well everything has grown and turned out. I was one of the very few “crazies” out in the snow and cold temperatures planting and mulching.

Not to mention the oh-so-enticing compost.

I’ve weeded, and watered and harvested, and I guess all that work I’ve put in makes me feel like some part of the gardens progress is thanks to some of the hard work over these last few months. I can honestly say that at first I was only doing the work to earn the [stipend], but I’ve grown to enjoy seeing how wonderful everything has turned out and how hard work really does pay off.  I’ve also enjoyed learning all about the different plants and flowers and how to take care of them.

It’s been very rewarding.

This post is part of a series written by survivors of domestic violence who are participating in our farm stipend project.