One of the awesome things about doing things inside of the community is that you get the opportunity to meet some awesome people with awesome stories to tell. One of my garden favorites is Tanika Trotter. I first met Tanika last year when I first got involved with the St. Therese Unity Garden. She was one of the first people to approach me to see what I was up to. From that moment on we forged a friendship that is still growing to this day.
Tanika has been a huge inspiration to my life and many others. Her life is one of faith and perseverance. Being born 3 months premature and barely weighing over a pound. She fought through that only to be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 17. This is something that she still endures to this day. But not without a genuine smile painted on her face.
Last year, towards the middle of the garden’s growing season, she approached me and asked if I could plant her some spinach and some other types of greens. She then explained that juicing the spinach and other greens helped eased her pain from the disease. I instantly stopped what I was doing, looked her dead in the eyes, and told her that if greens helped helped her pain I was going to plant her a “field of greens.” And so the seed was planted and the idea began to grow. Before planting the garden this year I went and found every green seed I could find and this is the manifestation. I am happy to report that she is a garden regular. Smiling away. She is really big on the spinach, kale, swiss chard, and arugula. She also claims that not only is it easing the pain of the disease but it is also helping with her digestion due to the side effects of her prescription medications.
I can’t begin to explain how much Tanika has inspired my life and my drive to give. She is a amazing Gal with a beautiful heart. So when you stop out at the garden don’t hesitate to give a shout out to Tanika Trotter. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this post. I hope all of you have a great weekend.
— with Tanika Trotter.
The essay below was posted the other day on Facebook by our master gardener, Will Campbell. I’m reprinting it here with his permission. Will has dozens more stories like this, as does anyone who’s spent much time around the Garden of St. Therese. What a joy it is to watch the Holy Spirit’s plans unfold around us!