When you get to work growing plants, you know that you’ve been given a special gift.
And when you are lucky enough to do it together with children, then we would call that a great fortune!
Patty Padgett is such a lucky person exactly.
Patty was a grower for all her professional life. She’s owned a nursery together with her son. But then unfortunately, her son’s life was tragically cut short. It was difficult for Patty to carry on by herself, and things started to change in her life.
There was a special calling, and Patty went on to do missionary work in Haiti. That brought her close to the people there, and it allowed her to gather experience on how to best help directly, and without red tape.
The majority of the Haitian population lives in poverty even today, and their dire situation needs urgent help on many levels.
Patty would get an idea of what their most pressing needs were, and what could be done to ease the lack of food, clean water and even basic shelter.
The seed was planted, so to speak.
Since Patty is most comfortable as a grower, her idea didn’t take long to sprout: raise house pants from seedlings and sell them at Green Markets, so she could use that money towards immediate needs in Haiti.
But it doesn’t stop there. She teaches kids how to grow and care for plants, and in return she gets little volunteer helpers.
Mostly these children are part of a church community, and they not only learn about gardening, but also about compassion.
You could say it is definitely a good situation for all involved.
Of course nothing comes easy, but that doesn’t stop Patty from following her calling.
One day during a particular growing season, after all the seedlings were planted and so lovingly cared for, there was great disappointment.
Patty and the kids returned to tend to the plants to find them completely gone from their pots.
They planted more seedlings to grow, and with the same result: after they sprouted nicely, they vanished literally without a trace.
Not a pant was left. Of course they felt let down, but it was equally important to catch the thief, so that it wouldn’t happen again.
But there wasn’t anybody in sight, and it was frustrating. Until, one day, Patty returned to the little nursery and she caught the thieves in the act: iguanas!
The Growth Continues
The solution was relatively easy: they could move all the pots into a nearby commercial nursery that was iguana-free.
The freshly started plants were safe, and they prospered!
You can buy these plants at various green markets in the area, and we recommend that you pick up at least one of these very special leafy friends – after all, they were grown with LOVE!