I can name 89 youth and adults and another 17 children who have shown up to participate in the community garden project since we began back in October 2011. We had workdays where 5 year-olds and 70+ year-olds were working side-by-side building raised beds. We hosted a gardening class which attracted outside participants to our church on a weekday night. We invited a group of young men to work with us to help fulfill their community service obligations. And in this way we took an ignored patch of land and we built a garden. WOW!
This past weekend was something of a capstone for the garden build. Last Thursday, over 40 cubic yards of soil was delivered from The Ground Up for use in the vegetable beds. Over the next three days, all of the soil was moved into the garden.
Details and LOTS of photos after the break…
We were very fortunate to have some residents from IntoAction Recovery Center join us on Friday. Although they were fulfilling obligatory community service hours, you could hardly tell it from their attitudes. We were impressed by their enthusiasm, dedication and appreciation for the purpose of the garden. One man explained that our project was putting “good karma” out into the world by giving folks a place to grow food.
On Saturday we continued to move soil. Jane, Jenny and Jonathan got some transplants into the deep beds, so we have vegetables growing! Those deep beds may continue to settle over the coming weeks, and it will be interesting to see how they turn out. Bob Handy’s load of special soil was delivered, so we helped fill his beds, and Bob was finally able to get his blueberries in the ground.
We set up a grill out in the garden on Sunday as the second service was letting out and lured in volunteers by tempting them with hotdogs and cold drinks. The last of the soil was moved into the beds, vegetables were planted and we had our first garden party. There are a few more odd-jobs to finish up, but the garden is ready for planting!
Now that building the physical garden is largely complete, it’s time to focus on building the “community”. Patrick Gibbs and Scott Rock have agreed to take the lead in this next step. They will be working with the gardeners who have already been allocated garden plots and find ways to bring in more gardeners from the neighborhood apartments.
Thank you so very much to our volunteers that helped this past weekend: Ruth Bastion, Kris Berthold, Bob Cooper, Paula Criswell, Claudia Croson, Christina Croson, Patrick Gibbs, Bob Handy, James Jackson, Julie Lambert, Katie Love, Jane Malin, Jenny Malin, Bruce Meltzer, Alex Montgomery, Jonathan Peck, Louise Peck, Rose Reis-Jackson, Cinnamin Rivers, Turi Rivers, Scott Rock, Samuel Sanderson, Wendy Whittenberg-Ferrell and the nine wonderful volunteers from IntoAction Recovery Center. This week’s Kid Crew had a lot of fun shoveling in that pile of dirt: Clara, Lillian, Rose, Elliot and Ezra.