I think I'm just coming up for a bit of air after the whirlwind 350 Garden Challenge. I'm jazzed about the response received from so many people around the world that are interested in growing food at home. We've just scratched the surface and will continue the movement to get more folks in their garden space to grow food.
Some of our volunteers last weekend just couldn't wait another weekend before getting into their gardens and having Garden Work Parties. We have a couple of them in Berkeley CA this coming weekend that will be huge learning labs and a lot of fun. These hosts are serious about healthy eating.
This is Bonnie's Back 40x40
There will be a Garden Work Party here this weekend and maybe again soon!
We have projects happening tomorrow and beyond to continue reaching out to gardeners with and without gardens including informational and support meetings for neighbors that want to organize other neighbors in walking distance to grow food at home and work together in their garden space. We call these groups of food growers Victory Garden Networks.
As I visited many of the Garden Work Parties last weekend; I thought about the days in college that I didn't have garden space to grow food. I would grow herbs in the windowsill although it didn't get great sun; but I did get some herbs. Later, I moved to a small townhouse and I planted tomatoes in a pot and placed them on my little 4x3 foot porch :) We couldn't open the screen door all the way because of the tomato plant. That inconvenience was well worth the trouble! :) I planted one zucchini plant and a couple of corn plants (I just love corn's scientific name: Zea Mays) next to the stairs in the back (in about the same amount of space as the front porch size) and made zucchini bread for days! Hmmm ... I'm now a champion Zucchini Bread maker in my own mind.
Claire's Small Space Garden will reap Large Benefits
All the while, I just felt I was missing something. And after all of these years, it occurred to me - If I would have had the opportunity to go to someone's garden to help them grow food; I would have been satisfied. Sure, I got some of my neighbors together to grow food. They had the same small amount of space that I did. I'd tell them about how to grow their food; but with such small space; there was barely the need for one person to maintain the 'garden.' :) If I'd just had the opportunity to go to someone's backyard and help them garden. WoW! That would have been such a treat.
Alice's Frontyard Menagerie with Volunteers ... many are hidden :)
A new proud gardener holding the taproot of a Lemon Sorrel - Who knew we had to dig so deep!
And, learned to use garden tools to prune a pathway to the raised bed
And, I believe that the volunteers without their own garden space (and there are many) that come out to help others in their gardens are very special people. They are satisfied and fulfilled with doing the weed work; removing plants; helping fruit trees to breathe around their drip line; prune unruly fruit trees, herbs, and other plants in the garden. Their reward is knowing that they are sharing! That's the Victory Garden spirit. And, there are volunteers with their own gardens. They could be at home working in their gardens; but they've taken their valuable time to help someone and probably help some plants that need a home. That's special. That's the Victory Garden spirit.
Watching and interacting with others in the garden is a great social activity. Have you heard some of the stories in the garden? Unbelievable! And, Believable. What about the snail story ... comparing shell stripes and finding that "this snail is not for around here!" :)
And weeding and finding unidentifiable plants that have alien looking roots?
Gardening is a trip, an adventure, a wonderful experience! And, especially when you are engaged in an activity that just going to nourish your mind, body, and spirit. And, remember, the vegetables need pollinators so plant some flowers to attract them.
Wherever you are, I encourage you to find a garden to nurture and care for! Keep an eye on our calendar for Garden Work Parties. Organize and add your Garden Work Party to the Calendar and volunteers will come with their garden stories; their shovels; their blank canvass to learn and help; seeds and plants to contribute; favorite dish for a potluck; their personal stories; make new friends; and connect with old friends.
The garden of food is a beautiful thing! I hope to see you in the garden ...