- Author: Chutima Ganthavorn
Early in the morning of Saturday, July 13, 2019, it was already getting warm. The temperature had been in the 90's lately. But as Bryan Medina promised, six youth/young adults from Inland Empire Job Corps showed up with their supervisor, Calvin Pondexter. They were there at the Riverside Faith Temple in Eastside Riverside to help with the new garden start-up effort. Pastor Duane Sims has been working with the University of California Cooperative Extension teams (Master Gardeners and CalFresh Healthy Living, UC) in the past six months to convert the empty lot across from the church into a community garden.
On this day, Nicole Ogosi, a staff member from CalFresh Healthy Living, UC, brought orange infused water to show the best way to quench your thirst on a hot sunny day. The water tasted great! Job Corps youth spent three hours that morning to help remove dried weeds, rocks and debris. Everyone pitched in and together we generated over 40 bags of trash. UCCE Master Gardener, Thurman Howard, taught us the difference between soil and dirt (soil has nutrients and microorganisms; dirt does not) and the value of being patient with your land. It takes time to remove weeds and cultivate your soil. He said, “Don't be in a hurry. You want to have good soil to grow good crops.” I am glad I got to spend the morning with this group of young adults. We all had a good workout and did some good work! Thank you Inland Empire Job Corps!