Garden Blog

The nexus of gardens and community

I was excited last winter to be given the green light to work on outreach for our neighborhood gardens. I spent a couple of weeks daydreaming in my spare moments, thinking of ways that our garden could further support our neighbors and neighborhood. I pared my brainstorming list down to a few vital items, and have been thrilled that our community partners have invested their time and money into supporting our endeavors.

The free farmers market, offering recipes for in-season produce, food demonstrations, and children’s programming are what’s on the menu this season, our 10th Anniversary of production in our garden. We hope to further reduce barriers to fresh eating, and invite our neighbors to take part.

Our first big “y’all come” neighborhood volunteer day was last Saturday, with weeding beds and hauling compost on our to-do list. Like many folks, I don’t mind doing hard work, if joy is in my heart.

It was so good to see familiar faces, from toddlers to elderly neighbors, after what has felt like a long extended winter. It was a pleasure to meet people new to the neighborhood, and to hang out with folks outside our neighborhood who were there to help while also looking for some peace and community.

When we hear the words “community garden” what usually comes to mind is the fresh delicious produce. But what is just as vitally important is the feeling we get when we share our time and care with other people.

In a world brimming with unpredictable and sometimes scary events, Mr. Rogers advised us to look at the helpers, to remember the good in this world and see it in action. This is how I feel when I am at our neighborhood gardens. We are helping to make our neighborhood a wonderful place for all of us.