Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gardening with Community

I visited with my friend Amanda Vanhoozier of the Coppell Community Garden the other day.  She took me on a tour that had me drooling.  For plants.

The Coppell Community Garden is a donation garden.  Every Saturday the local food pantry picks up whatever the gardeners have harvested to donate.  And what this garden produces is truly amazing.

Sweet Potatoes!
In my experience, we in the United States do not really know how to grow things well.  At least, not the average gardener. We've lost touch.  And I think that having been hungry has an impact on how gardeners from different cultures manage their gardens.  We do it when we have time, but they make time.                                                             

I've been in several community gardens that were populated by refugees.  Their gardens were absolutely amazing.  They grow in small spaces, using vertical techniques, and they grow different varieties - not just one type of squash, but five or six.  I'd really like to see if we could get some of these wonderful gardeners to teach us their techniques.  That is what the "community" in Community Garden represents - an opportunity to share knowledge and build relationships through dirt, seeds and compost.  It's great to grow at home, in your back yard, but if you have the opportunity, get a plot in your local community garden.  You'll be investing in your community and growing food as well.
The largest bean crop I've ever seen - New Day
Community Garden (Austin)

Gorgeous kale in Coppell

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