One of the nice things about being a community garden is listening to the stories of the people who come together to work for a few hours and then go their separate ways. Our last three community members: Amy, Michelle, and Raven all have followed very different paths to the garden. As we worked together to clear the beds of weeds, harvest ripe veggies, water and plant, we form a kaleidoscope of quickly shifting conversation and laughter. People come to garden both for themselves and for others. Some people bring their children. While we haven’t had any children bring their parents yet I can only imagine that day is coming.
For some the primary pull of the garden is stress relief. For others, it’s a desire to do something important, even if only in a small hands-on direct service way, for those less fortunate. Some visitors have been experienced gardeners who trot out the Latin names of the rhizomes they’re eradicating. Others come because they want to gain gardening knowledge and work up to providing produce for their own households.
One of the recurring joys the garden has brought is the excitement we see on children’s faces when they visit as a part of their summer camp experience. Last week, Jennifer Page brought a Spectrum camp to visit us. By the end of their stay, the children were clutching ripe cucumbers, salad greens and herbs to take on the bus with them. Their little hands smelled of the herbs that they’d been pinching flowers from. We listened and smiled as they named plant after plant: tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries… they’ll be back.