Why we adopted a garden

Posted by on Jul 11, 2011 in Food, Gardening, Inspiration, Tips

Cleaning up under the Apple Tree at Mrs. B's garden.

I have fond memories of wandering between my Grandma’s raised garden beds in the back of her city home.¬† The smell of sun ripened strawberries and Lemon Mint mingle in those memories. She even used raised planter beds after she moved onto a larger city lot where she and my Grandpa also raised dozen of chicken and two pigs. They retired to a small rural town in Oregon, and their “hobby farming” blossomed to include more animals and a garden yielding more vegetables and fruit than they could eat.

Unripe Apples fall from the tree and need collecting - Cooper like to throw 'em in a bucket.

About two years ago, I was missing my Grandma who had passed away, and coincidentally embracing the ideals of eating locally. But, we didn’t have room to garden aside from a planter with strawberries, and some pots for herbs. I was daunted by the waiting list for our city P-Patches (a program in Seattle where you can garden in designated Parks land). So, I asked my good friend, Google.com and found this locally produced site: Urbangardenshare.org– it was just beginning and included only two sites in my neighborhood. Neither one was suitable for me to bring my two kids under 3 years old.

So, I called my mom and told her how I found this new site, but there wasn’t the right fit for us on there yet. She in turn introduced me to her High School friend, JoAnne. She just so happened to live in my neighborhood and have a Mom who was willing to share her garden, Mrs. B. She is a sweet lady who is kinda like my Grandma in her knowledge and passion for gardening. We enjoy the fruits of her years of labor through the bounty of strawberries, blueberries, grapes, Peaches, Apples, Pears, Plums, Garlic, Broccoli, Collards and Raspberries. And in turn, we try to help keep up with weeds and tend our own part of the garden.

Fresh strawberry!

We’re getting a late start this year, but are excited to continue our “Adopt-A-Gardening” as I am going to call it. It is a mutually beneficial way to garden in the city. If you’re like me, and want to garden but don’t have the space, take a look around your neighborhood. Are there any elderly folks who can’t keep up with their garden? Or a neighbor with a yard just waiting to be used? Taking a good look online, I’ve found some other useful resources that might help.

Here are some handy links:

Urban Garden Share: started in Seattle, the site now a few cities in California, Kentucky, Idaho and Georgia.

Gleanit: A Seattle organization also known as The Community Harvest of SW Seattle, they coordinate ways to share excess harvest or neglected fruit trees to food banks. The also provide classes and opportunities to volunteer.

Garden Share: resources for gleaning or sharing your harvest in and around New York.

Do you have a similar program in your city? If so, please share the info!

Shared on Monday Mania – recipe, real food link party.

2 Comments

  1. JoAnne
    July 11, 2011

    This arrangement is such a blessing for my Mom, Holli. It has been tremendously uplifting for her to have you and the children visit. Before she met you, Mom was often wistful about her garden and its future. It means so much to her and she needs to be out there…she would just wither away without it, but there is too much arable land for one person to care for alone.

    She loves being able to see your children discover the joy and drama of the garden, and it is gratifying for her to pass on some of what she’s learned as a Master Gardener. What an ingenious and wonderful thing you have done!

    • holliwithani
      July 12, 2011

      We really appreciate the opportunity. Really, it’s a win-win for both of us! Thank YOU for coordinating the opportunity.