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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

our community garden

I helped build this.  I think this almost every time I'm at our community garden, feeling incredulous.  Sometimes I still can't believe that my dream to start a garden became a reality.

Last fall I talked with a few other friends (with the same community garden dream) about starting a garden behind our church.  There was a huge field just waiting for some garden plots.  After lots of brainstorming and organizing, we submitted our plan to the church and the garden project was approved!  We also received two small grants that gave us the funding that we needed to fund the project.  I've blogged a little more about the process over at my food justice blog Peas and Justice

I've loved seeing the garden take off over the past few months.  We now have 25 plots, a community plot that helps support St. Ben's community meal program, and will have two handicapped accessible beds installed in the next few weeks.  I've been taking lots of pictures since the garden began, and it's been really fun to compare where the plots are now to when they were first planted.  We've harvested lots of veggies -- lettuce, radishes, peas, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, beets, and cucumbers.  I'm looking forward to harvesting some butternut and acorn squash later in the season.  YUM.  There is nothing like eating food that you planted from seed, nurtured, and harvested yourself.

One great surprise of the garden has been the people I've met and built community with.  The garden committee planned the details of the garden for months, but we had almost no control over what would happen between the gardeners themselves.  Little by little I've noticed community building.  People help each other with watering or offer advice about what to plant or when to harvest.  One gardener helped make signs and t-shirts for the garden, another will be hosting a canning workshop next month.  People continually mention how peaceful the garden space feels and how happy they are to have met the other gardeners.  

I love the difference a garden can make.  We've beautified the property, helped to create a local ecosystem, been eating healthy food, formed new relationships, and built community.  It has been a challenge to keep up motivation and organization of the project while also working full time, but it's been so worth it.  I can't wait to see how the garden project grows as the seasons go on! 

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