I took several photos at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm project, at several different levels of scale, from entire greenhouses, to rows of pumpkin or squash runners apparently vying for the longest reach, and even clusters of neatly arranged seedlings in a box. And then this first swelling of a future squash or pumpkin beneath a blossom, sheltered under a large leaf, ended the search for the right photo.
It has taken well over a year for the Urban Farm project to reach this milestone, with a long way to go before it achieves its full potential. Yet all the frustration and obstacles and doubts that had challenged the dedication of project organizers, seem to melt away before the quiet, natural maturing of just this one plant.
Isn’t this how a community supports the learning of its youth, with patience, persistence, hours of hard scrabble work to clear and prepare the way, trimming and pruning as necessary, only to allow a quiet, natural process to emerge on its own and create something entirely new.

This article is cross-posted from a Photo Voice project answering the question, “What assets does the community bring to education and learning?” See the photos and stories of the youth, as individuals and teams, on the full site, SE Seattle FreedomNet.