Alex Graham, is a junior from Richardson, Texas and is working towards a degree in elementary education and a minor in community and civic engagement. She and Emma Rhodes are co-leaders of the newly formed Garden Club. This story emulate’s the idea that although SNU is a community in and of itself, the people of this city are also a part of our community, which introduces us to next semester’s chapel theme of: “Who’s My Neighbor?”

Alex is passionate about community outreach, the beauty of creation, and our job as people to be stewards of the earth.

“As Christians, I believe we need to walk down the street and be mesmerized by the fact that God created all these things. We need to recognize our planet was literally gifted to us.”

This is part of the main idea behind the Garden Club. Their hope is to cultivate friendship and raise awareness of what it means to be a good neighbor through the art of gardening.

About a year ago, Alex and Emma Rhodes began joking around about starting a gardening club.
“At the time we had no idea about the greenhouse, but we did know about the beds and thought it would be cool to use those to plant some herbs or vegetables.”

They talked to Dr. Hookman and after he heard about their vision he excitedly gave them a key to the shed and greenhouse.

Next, they needed to create a club and five days before the deadline they officially committed to the idea.

“We weren’t sure how many people would actually be interested, but at the club fair, we got 30 signatures. Which was encouraging regardless of whether or not they showed up to our first meeting.”

Gardening is engraved upon Alex’s memory and in her genes. Although, she would disagree that the green thumb was passed to her, Alex expressed that it was her childhood that initially planted a seed for her garden dream.

“I grew up around my mom’s green thumb and my grandparent’s amazing garden. I would say I wasn’t very interested in the idea of all the patience required when I was young. Now I see the beauty in the waiting.”

Her new found passion has created bonding opportunities in conversations with her mom and has prompted recollections of advice her mother gave to her when she was young.
“Okay now you’ve got to squish the roots and pull them out so you put them in the beds.”

Beyond starting a campus club, Alex vocalized the importance of opening our eyes to the city around us. She suggests that serving others means serving your best friends, someone on campus you don’t know, or going downtown with a group of students led by Dr. Forsberg to bring food to the homeless.

Alex would love for the Greenhouse to be a place where SNU collides with our neighbors.

“Here we say we are community, but we seem to forget all these other people we pass on the street everyday. Loving the people around you means everyone.”

Although this dream somewhat lies in dormancy, celebrating little moments of growth is a huge lesson to learn.

“Seeing a seed sprout, I can’t explain the pride and joy I feel. I think this creates a beautiful analogy of the seasons we go through in our lives.”

Alex and Emma’s desires that the Greenhouse to create a culture even beyond SNU of planting seeds, sowing seeds, watering, waiting, harvesting, and re-creating together in life and in gardening.