Aaron and Abner Wanyamah enjoy juicy burgers at the Houston Community Garden barbeque on Aug. 23

Aaron and Abner Wanyamah enjoy juicy burgers at the Houston Community Garden barbeque on Aug. 23

Summer student gets his hands dirty at Community Garden

With many helping hands, Houston’s Community Garden stayed green and mostly weed-free this summer

With many helping hands, Houston’s Community Garden stayed green and mostly weed-free this summer.

At 15 years old, summer student Austin Warren is younger than the usual college-aged students who take the annual position, but his boss Sandy Wetterstrom says he did a fine job.

Warren worked full-time for the Community Garden this summer, organizing barbecues and manning the garden booth at the farmers market as well as tending the garden rows.

Warren even got a chance to join free yoga sessions at the garden, not as a leader, he laughed, but just a helper and sometimes photographer.

And working the garden itself was rewarding, Warren said.

“Just a little bit of weed whacking or a little bit of mowing—and a lot of weeding—just makes it look so much nicer,” he said.

“People appreciate that and it’s really worthwhile.”

Run by Houston Link to Learning, the garden motto is “It’s not just a garden,” said Warren, explaining that the main focus is on education and people rather than on plants.

“It’s focused around skill-building with families and individuals,” he said.

“The garden is a way to show them hands-on where they get their food from and how to grow it themselves.”

Still, Warren learned a lot about growing vegetables during his time at the garden, and a lot of it was from the experienced gardeners who would give him tips about various things.

“I know about three ways to get rid of slugs in your garden,” he said.

When asked what he liked most about the summer position, Warren said that he enjoyed the barbecues and the appreciation people showed about his work in the garden.

“I met a whole other group of people that I wouldn’t have known otherwise,” Warren shared, “And they are really nice people and I’m glad I know them.”