° empty

Everyday hero: Miller enjoys sharing love of gardening at children’s home

JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Harrison “Buddy” Miller has helped maintain six raised gardens at the Natchez Children's Home for the past several years.
JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT
Harrison “Buddy” Miller has helped maintain six raised gardens at the Natchez Children’s Home for the past several years.

NATCHEZ — Harrison “Buddy” Miller has spent his life watching the seasons pass from planting, to tending, to harvest and back to planting.

His life’s work has been running the Plantation Pecan and Gift Company in Waterproof, La.

Miller’s work over the last several years has been to share that experience with children in Natchez who might not otherwise get to watch a fruit or vegetable go from a seed to a serving.

Each spring, Miller coordinates planting six gardens at the Natchez Children’s Home with the arrival of students from Boston University and Agnes Scott College in Atlanta who spend their spring break volunteering throughout Natchez.

Miller and the college-aged volunteers add new soil and nutrients to the six raised boxes, plant the seeds and cover the boxes with plastic to limit the growth of weeds.

Miller said seeing the college students working in the children’s garden has given him hope for future generations.

“My hat is off to those kids, because they do volunteer work rather than go to the beach somewhere on spring break,” Miller said.

“This is hard to manage work, getting this garden in,” Miller said. “And without their help, we couldn’t do it.

“The garden just doesn’t do itself.”

For all the hard work, from planting to harvest, Miller said the ultimate goal of the garden is to give children a better understanding of how food, especially fruits and vegetables, finds its way to their tables.

“If they see the garden growing, and watch it and help pick, and watch it being prepared and served in the kitchen, they are more than likely to eat it and enjoy it,” Miller said.

“It’s always a personal pleasure to give children the sample of things that we do and to get them started to accept eating fresh fruits and vegetables.”

Calvin Wactor, facility and grounds director at the Children’s Home, has been working there as long as Miller has been tending the gardens.

“It’s great to see the kids get so excited when we give them a few tomatoes or a cantaloupe to carry home with them. It just makes their day,” Wactor said.

Wactor added that the children aren’t alone in enjoying the learning experience.

“I have learned a treasure trove of knowledge from Buddy which has helped me even in my own garden at home,” Wactor said.

“He’s the brains of the operation,” Wactor said. “And he’s been awesome to give his time and support.”

 

 

News

Photo gallery: Jewish community celebrates Passover with Seder dinner

News

NASD graduation rate up, but still lags behind state average

News

The Dart: Vidalia man studies, takes care of family, too

News

Natchez Early College Academy Fun Day to help raise money for trip to Washington, D.C.

News

Parent University set for Thursday

News

Sunday focus: Voters to determine a quarter million in salaries May 10

News

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates body found in Monterey

News

County seeking ambulance proposals

News

‘Suzi’s Girls’ remember lasting legacy left by coach

News

Natchez man killed in Ferriday wreck Friday night

News

Photo gallery: The bluff has gone to the DockDogs

News

Tactics in case surrounding alleged attack of parish DA questioned

News

Student charged in verbal assault of teacher

News

City back in court to determine damages in Roundstone case

News

Report: Cuts put school district $1.5M short

News

Faith and Family: R.V.I.C.S. helps Children’s Home

News

Photo gallery: Chalk artist inspired by God creates artwork at First Baptist Church

News

Man previously arrested on rape charges, charged with another sex crime

News

Natchez-Adams School District to pay $127K to former principal

News

Judge dismisses former assistant principal’s lawsuit against school district

News

City receives Urban Youth Corps grant

News

Natchez police make arrest in weekend attack

News

Natchez tourism director’s car left in limbo without commission

News

News photos: Ferriday fire