Austin News 8 Coverage of Harvest Celebration.

Area woman shares a green thumb to satisfy a need

By: Bonnie Gonzalez

(link to website for footage of the Harvest Celebration and interview).

Finding Bethel Erickson isn’t so hard if you happen to be working a community garden in Waco.

“There’s something about digging in the dirt. It just makes you feel alive and being that much more connected to your food and just the outside world,” she said.

Erickson is the one person tilling the soil that nurtures the Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition.”I feel like I’m more of just the body that gets things together and gets people talking, so that we’re all working together and it just becomes this wonderful community project,” Erickson said.

She has received quite a response since last November, when she began teaching others about gardening.

“I’ve been approached by probably 15 people,” she said.

Those people were interested in working the earth for the better of their community.

“Right now, we’re working with churches and schools around the community to garden with kids and adults and bring more local food into the community,” she said.The children learn an important lesson, and 9-year-old Destiny Watson can testify to that claim.

“It was really hard work,” Watson said.

And, as Erickson passes down her skills to others, those others are inspired to share.

“For instance, Lakeshore Baptist has their own food pantry, and so the food that they grow goes to the food pantry,” Erickson said.

She said that’s the idea.

“We’re trying to kind of empower a whole bunch of people, as well as kids to learn how to garden and then spread that knowledge,” Erickson said.

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