Greenhouse Gang brings spring to Harpersville

As spring approaches, the Harpersville United Methodist Church youth are busy planting in the greenhouse. (File)

As spring approaches, the Harpersville United Methodist Church youth are busy planting in the greenhouse. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HARPERSVILLE—Spring has sprung at Harpersville United Methodist Church, and the Greenhouse Gang is once again busy planting and watering new sprouts and budding flowers.

On March 4, the church greenhouse was bustling with activity as the church’s youth tended to beds and hanging pots filled with African violets, marigolds, zinnias and dianthus.

Nicknamed the Greenhouse Gang, the church’s youth group meets in the greenhouse each Wednesday during planting and growing seasons. They learn the basics of caring for a variety of plants, such as transplanting growing flowers and how much to water each sprout. Their work in the greenhouse also reinforces the lessons the children learn in church.

“We teach them how to be the hands and feet of God,” greenhouse director Ruth Brooks said. “It’s not just the words, it’s the things that you do.”

Brooks added gardening also helps the children connect to lessons in the Bible by bringing to life their study of Genesis and deepening their understanding of the parables.

The Greenhouse Gang supports their youth group mission trips, field trips and projects through the money raised by selling their plants during the spring plant sale and fall mum sale. The money has enabled the group to serve food to the homeless at the Glenn Addie Community Church in Anniston, to take an educational field trip to the Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange, Ga., and to fund projects for the community. This year, the group is planning to build a wheelchair accessible ramp for the church.

“We earn the money from the (plant) sales,” said member of the Greenhouse Gang, Sydney Simmons. “Nobody pays for it, we do it by ourselves.”

Not only does the Greenhouse Gang take pride in their work, they also enjoy sharing their flowers with others. This past year, the group planted flowers from their greenhouse at Columbiana Health and Rehabilitation.

“I like seeing people receive and seeing the faces they have. It was amazing,” Simmons said with a smile. “It made me feel just as happy as they were.”

Member of the Greenhouse Gang, Noelle Baker, added, “Making them happy makes me happy.”