Thursday, June 17, 2010

Community Gardens

In my friend, Annie’s neighborhood, neighbors are using the space where a house used to be to grow food. In a neighborhood by the University, neighbors have planted perennials in a formerly bare and uncared for place. And, in more and more schools, teachers and members of the community are helping to plant gardens so kids can both learn about growing food and get fresh vegetables in their diets.

I have been aware of community gardens for food production for a couple of years. A friend of mine has a plot in a community garden near where we work. We walk over there at lunch sometimes to weed or water. He talks about the garden association that oversees the plots and provides the infrastructure (water, wheelbarrows, mowers). And, this year, I went to the kick off meeting for him because he was out of town. It was really interesting to find out that there are hundreds of people who are passionate about growing their own food but don’t have the space in their own yards and therefore use community gardens!

In May, I was among the folks in my neighborhood who dug and planted a “beautification” community garden. I was not part of the planning, but understand we worked with the city and community garden organizers to determine the scope and location of the project. (I just showed up for the grunt work.) The plants are small now, but next year, people who drive by this particular spot will be greeted by waves of native prairie flowers and grasses!

I got a note from one of the Vacation Bible School teachers at the church a month or so ago asking if they could use the garden plots at the church to teach the kids about vegetables! Of course! So, they planted the garden together before school let out and in August when they have VBS, the kids will harvest the goodies they planted. I think it’s so cool the teachers wanted to do this!

Have I piqued your interest in Community Gardening? If so, there’s a great web site called Gardening Matters that can give you lots of information. And, if you want to see the number of community gardens in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, click the map! Wow.


Anonymous said...

I am a firm believer. We have to get back to the dirt (no doubt we all will in good time). Time in the plot is so therapeutic.

Someone has to teach those kids how to grow something for themselves. They in turn have to have some interest.

There is so much unused space that could be used its such a waste. How about some guerrilla planting???

Donell said...

Hey K,

Are you a Master Gardener? Want to become one with me? Applications go online in July.

Auntie K said...

Hi Donell,
I'm not a Master Gardener, yet. I've wanted to do it for the past 3 years, but because of classes I was teaching I wouldn't have been available for the coursework in January. But, the decks are cleared and THIS is the year I'm going to do it!
I'm excited to have a buddy to go through the process with!

Auntie K said...

Hey Anon,

You must be a mind reader. I had Guerrilla Gardening on my list of topics and did post about it today. I don't know if it's exactly what you're looking for, but . . .


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