Let it grow

Sophomore Madison Tomes and English teacher Lisa Logsdon share their journeys with gardening and making a difference in their community

We’ve all heard the aphorism, “It’s a small world.” But in the eyes of those who are dedicated to the preservation of the planet, it’s an infinite one. Or at least it was. These green-thumbed folk don’t just see leaves, but also the veins, the blade, the petiole, the stipules, and more. They see the infinite species of greenery. They also see the cyclical and continuous desolation of this priceless verdure. We recognize the injustice that is racism, we’ve scouted out the ugliness of homophobia, or sexism, of
classism. What about empathy for our paramount caretaker: Mother Nature? One student and one teacher at Noblesville High School are working on paying off their long-lived debts. Sophomore Madison Tomes and AP Literature and Composition teacher Lisa Logsdon have discovered their own ways to say thank you to Dame Nature.

Gardening for a change

Teter Farm is where Madison Tomes learned the power of plants. The organization is an outreach mission of Noblesville First United Methodist Church. In 2015, with a full-time farm manager and volunteers, the farm began to grow organic produce to give to food pantries and people in need within the community. According to Kathy Tomes, Madison’s mom, the family became involved with Teter Farm because it is a project that they could all do together.

A sophomore at NHS, Tomes has been involved with Teter Farm for
almost two years. She volunteers each week, rain or shine.

“I’ve been there since the beginning,” Madison said. “I’m a lot more into [gardening] when I know that I’m serving a purpose.”

 According to Kathy, volunteering gives the Tomes family a purpose.

“Volunteering at the farm gives us a sense of making a difference for people who need it,” Kathy said. “I’m proud that we are serving as responsible stewards for the land.

Madison enjoys working at Teter, not just because of the charitable work that they do, but also because she feels that it is beneficial to her mental health.

“Being out there is just so uplifting. [Gardening] has improved my mood so much,” Madison said. “I’ll have a bad day… but my mood is always improved when I’m in my element.” Her “element,” as she calls it, is nature.

“I just want to be working outside no matter what I do,” Madison said.

Madison’s mother, Kathy, also enjoys working out in nature.

“I was raised on a farm, and I missed getting my hands dirty and watching things grow,” Kathy said.

Madison also enjoys the simplicity of doing something for a cause.

“I think [volunteering] is such a good thing that brings people together,” Madison said.

“It makes you aware of what’s going on in the community.”

Despite how long she has been volunteering at Teter Farm, Madison is still amazed each week at the work that they do.

“It’s crazy coming back every week and seeing how much [the plants] grow,” Madison said. “It’s really cool to see everybody work together.”

Madison is proud of the work that they do at Teter Farm, and she recommends volunteering to anyone and everyone.

“Wherever you come from… you’re all the same when you’re [volunteering],” Madison said. “If you’re fortunate, you should be able to help other people.”

Kathy agrees.

“I’ve been  blessed with good health and the resources that I need to support my family, but not everyone is that lucky,” Kathy said. “I feel our community has a responsibility to do what we can to support those who are struggling. This is my way to do that.”

It runs in the family

When spring finally rolls around and all of the flowers are planted, you will be able to find Lisa Logsdon sitting on her porch watching them bloom. This is her happy place.

English teacher Logsdon says she has always had a knack for gardening. She grew up around both a father and a stepfather who, according to Logsdon, both enjoyed getting their hands in some dirt.

“[My father] kept our lawn pristine,” Logsdon said. “No one was allowed to step on it.”

During gardening season, she is out in her yard everyday. Sometimes, she’s out working for three or four hours. Despite the hard work, the relaxation that she gets from gardening is what she says makes it worth her time.

“It’s a stress reliever. It’s relaxing,” she said. “I love to have my hands in dirt.”

Although she thoroughly enjoys the work that goes into maintaining a pristine garden, Logsdon claims that the end result is the most satisfying.

“I guess I’m a transcendentalist. [I like to] step back at the end of the day and look at what I’ve done and then just watch it grow,” she said. “I can’t tell you the satisfaction I get from just sitting out on my patio and watching the proverbial grass grow.”

According to Logsdon, caring for her flowers daily is almost an escape from the reality of being a high school English teacher.

“I take care of my flowers because they don’t yell at me,” Logsdon said. “They don’t whip out their cell phones when I’m trying to talk to them.”

Logsdon says gardening is a source of happiness. She wants to continue doing it for as long as possible.

“Maybe they’ll let me have a little window box in the nursing home,” Logsdon said.

Logsdon says that she would recommend gardening to anyone and leaves us with this quote in hopes of inspiring others to garden.

“My favorite saying is from Hans Christian Andersen: ‘One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower,’” Logsdon said. “That is my motto.”