For those of you who know Betsy Torge, you absolutely love her enthusiastic, love-of-life, light-hearted spirit. She brings a smile to your face no matter what. So you can only imagine what she brings to the OCAC Gardeneering Program. The Gardeneering Program gives our children in Oxford a chance to have hands on experience in the garden. Betsy teaches the children the concept of “farm-to-table” and provides an easy understanding of the benefits of growing your own food. The Gardeneering Program takes place on Saturday mornings throughout the summer at the Oxford Community Arts Center outside in the gated garden near High Street. Girls participating in the OCAC Gardeneering Program who are featured in the photo are (in no specific order): Xandra, Naomi, Isabella, Bella, Grace, Morgan, and Katie.

To grasp what the Gardeneering Program provides our youth, Betsy explains, “When allowing the children to dig in the dirt, plant seeds, and watch what they have planted grow into food, it brings an understanding of where their food comes from. Not only do the children get to pick and eat what they have grown, they are excited to do so and ask many questions. I encourage the group to participate in the “farm-to-table” concept, where we pick veggies and herbs from the garden, then together, we create a wonderful lunch to share. The whole idea of the Gardeneering Program is to teach children how we can have fun doing something valuable for our community.”

On Saturday, Betsy brought the girls participating in the Gardeneering Program to the OFMU. She wanted the girls to experience what they are doing at the OCAC garden on a larger scale. By bringing the girls to the market, they could see the local farmers providing fresh produce and the local artisans sharing their bread, honey, jams, and arts with the community. Larry talked to the group, giving them each a GREENBACK to spend. Betsy led the group around the market, allowing each girl to buy something to take back to the OCAC, so they could create a delicious “farm-to-table” lunch!

This coming Saturday is the last day for the summer OCAC Gardeneering Program. If you are interested in your child attending next year or are interested in other youth activities in Oxford, contact the Oxford Community Arts Center!