Most of us know what it is to have foods and flavors bring us home, whether it’s mom’s apple pie, fresh sweet corn, or mac-n-cheese, just how you like it.

Newcomers to our country can’t always find the ingredients for their favorites, especially things like vegetables. Some even carry seeds from their homeland when they come to this country. Our friend Bill Dixon with the WSU Master Gardeners of Benton & Franklin Counties understands this from years of helping FLC families plant pots and start gardens at their homes. This year, he knew that new families were coming into our community from Afghanistan. He found a variety of tomatoes from Afghanistan, started the plants, and brought them to our potting event to share with Afghan families. These families are looking forward to a harvest that reminds them of home.

Last Thursday, the front yard of B5 was filled with families of ESL adults and after-school students. Nine volunteers from the Master Gardeners helped families plant a vegetable of their choice. People took their plants home to apartment patios and balconies all around our neighborhood. We look forward to hearing about a delicious harvest later this summer.

Youth detained at the Juvenile Justice Center raised the plants for this event. With the help of Master Gardeners, these students grow about 2,000 vegetable and herb transplants annually that are distributed to people in need throughout Benton and Franklin Counties.

Isn’t it wonderful that these vegetables can provide learning, meaning, and then food for so many different people!