Sowing change: Teacher starts community garden as place to tackle tough topics

May 11, 2022, 8:10 PM | Updated: May 12, 2022, 2:21 pm

CLINTON, Utah — A retired Davis County teacher is working to improve the community around her one person at a time, and she’s doing it by encouraging some difficult conversations, in a place that you might not expect.

Saturday morning  Adrienne Scott-Ellis leads this group as they’re building, and cultivating a community garden.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” Scott-Ellis said.

With the backdrop of this community garden, they are tackling tough subjects, like George Floyd and how those events affect us.

“I was devastated, and I didn’t have the guts to call her because I was so upset,” Celia Rose said about the George Floyd killing.

They are Sowing Seeds of Change a concept that came out of difficult times.

“This was 2020….the pandemic hit. We had to go to remote learning. We had the racial tension. We had job loss,” Scott-Ellis said.

She wanted to cut through the division and isolation.

“I could see the toll that the anxiety was taking on my students, so I knew I had to do something,” Scott-Ellis said.

Connection, through gardening for her students, continues with this now retired teacher…with friends, former colleagues and really anyone who is willing to work, and cover some difficult topics.

“There’s a lot of people that are eager to call people out…that gotcha moment, ‘you said something inappropriate.’ My dream is to call people in. Let’s get together. Let’s have these real conversations. Let’s take a moment.”

And that’s it, a simple approach, to some complicated issues.

Seventh-grader Kaidrian Hawks and her mother, Samantha Nicholls have been here since the beginning.

“Every day there’s a new conversation about something new that will help us in our world and in our district, and in our society,” Hawks said.

They talk about things like racism, homophobia, and history, they’re things that others might feel is better left alone.

“If we don’t learn from those things, we are going to continue making the same mistakes over and over,” Jennifer Baker said.

“You have to talk about those subjects to know what they are, in order to find the root cause, and remove it from its root cause,” McKenzie Allen said.

It is in many ways more about listening than talking, and through it all, they say they see strength and growth. All the while, getting to watch their physical efforts out here, blossom.

The food later goes to families in need.

“…And when you start making those connections, you start caring. And when you start caring about each other, you start doing things that are going to help,” Scott-Ellis said.

Sowing those seeds together, with the hope that they can encourage others to do the same.

“It takes just one, you know? Just one seed, and you can grow something amazing,” Scott-Ellis said.

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Sowing change: Teacher starts community garden as place to tackle tough topics