On the backside of Faulkner University there is a garden, and it was Dennis Itson's idea. "It really feels good," said Itson.
Feels good because the garden has done so well. The area used to be nothing but grass. Today, it's a healthy, living, vibrant garden, all done two months ago.
"We have cucumbers, squash, okra, sweet corn, tomatoes and peppers," said Itson.
More than 30 university students worked on the garden. They started from the scratch. So far it's fed some 50 elderly residents in the Elizabeth Wright Apartment complex nearby. The assignment initially started out as a required community service project.
"I just love it. We are getting to know each other better. It gives us something to talk about," said Jean Johnson, one of several residents who lives on campus.
That's why Itson feels this small patch of earth has made a difference, bringing people together who otherwise might not come out as often in their later years.
"This is an opportunity for these people to get out and their minds off themselves. It's very therapeutic," Itson said.
One story stands out in particular.
"There is a gentleman who has cancer. He was depressed and stayed in his apartment and he's been out here taking care of a couple of rows. It's been good for him," said Itson.
It's harvest time in the garden. On a daily basis you'll find someone from the apartment complex plucking a vegetable here and there.
"It makes you feel good," said Johnson.
For Dennis Itson it's a different kind of harvest. He planted the seeds, not knowing they would bear this kind of fruit.. turning strangers into friends.
*Email Bryan Henry at email@example.com if you know of someone who is making a difference in their community.
Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.