Beth Bowman has been a community gardener at Benjamin Rush Community Garden in upper Northeast Philadelphia for 15 years. As a member and treasurer of the garden, as well as a volunteer grower for PHS City Harvest, Bowman finds satisfaction in knowing “we’re doing something good that matters. We’re growing and harvesting vegetables for neighbors in need.” She has been both intrigued and delighted by her community and its diverse group of gardeners.
Originally from the Philippines, where she grew up on a farm, Bowman describes gardening as “very therapeutic – it’s a passion you can’t quantify.”
Bowman loves the community effort in the garden. “You meet people you would not meet otherwise. You gather in the garden with the same goal and passion, and you share your experience,” she says.
One of the most rewarding parts of her experience in the community garden is the people she has met from different countries. “I watch what they do and ask questions. Immigrants grow what’s indigenous to where they come from; it’s part of their culture and how they grew up,” she says.