I’m not sure if this should be a ‘Traveling Plantswoman” post or not. I was traveling with my sister and her friend and I don’t usually visit many gardens when I travel with other folks. We normally focus hiking, golfing, and hot tubbig so as not to bore my companions with ‘Garden Stuff’, however, it is never far from my thoughts. As we were driving to do one of the ‘sanctioned’ activities I just couldn’t help myself this time. I hollered “Sorry…. I have to”. There on the side of the road was an abundance of raised beds and lush plants. It was between the busy 101 hwy and another road and there was a rail car at one end and beautiful gardens. We pulled into a parking space and spotted a family harvesting and planting so, of course, I had to talk to them and see what this garden was all about.
Frank and his wife Jennifer and their three kids were working in the garden. I was excited to see someone and to get a chance to ask them about the garden. They had just harvested a bag of onions and Jennifer had broken off the tops to give to the kids. These were little kids and they were eating them like celery or carrots and really enjoying them. They had a new crop of lettuce just planted and little baby radishes were almost ready to pick.
Fred took time to explain how they came to be there. They were a low income family who had used one of the scholarships to get a plot. They knew the two people on either side of their plot and they shared the produce. They were excited about teaching their children where food came from.
The family had not had a garden before but said they had help from other people in the community garden. They could email if they had a question and usually got a quick response. It was surprising how easy it was to grow vegs. They had a few problems that were unexpected. One problem they face is deer. How those beasties found this garden between two busy roads is amazing. But I guess if you plant it they will come. The other problem is thieves. I was surprised!
Community gardens can be anywhere and this garden clearly exemplifies that. We’ve had a couple of community garden posts (Albany Park, Albany Park #2 and Peterson) and we are glad to add this one to our list. It is exciting that more and more parents and communities want to help connect kids with “where food came from”.
Have you found a local community garden? Send us pictures!!! We want to see it.