People invite me to their houses to for me to offer ideas and advice and/or to scout out sites for where I'll place their new Square Foot Gardens... and every now-and-again, they ask, "So is this all you do?" This question always makes me smile.
I know (I assume) this question originates from intrigue. How cool, they must think, I'm able to keep busy just doing food gardens. If they only knew...
It's springtime and the soil is growing warm.
Starting at 8am yesterday morning, I led a team of high school boys (who are members at my church) around town doing community and school garden projects. We started at our church, Faith Presbyterian where we top-dressed and-- with the help of the elementary kids-- planted "God's Giving Garden." From there, we took two trips to Hartsfield Elementary to deliver a load of compost (compliments of the Damayan Garden Project) for their newly cleaned-up garden. Last, the boys and I visited Bethel Towers to overhaul their raised-bed garden.
After picking up a few tools where I'd left them at church, I went home for a brief pause. At 3pm, I hosted a seven 4-10 year-olds for a food garden workshop. After hammering a raised-bed together in my front yard, filling it with compost, and planting it (with tomatoes, peppers, shallots, squash and beans), all the kids went home with their own raised-bed kits. It was quite the event. Now that my neighbor Heather has blessed us with bees, and we've recently acquired chickens, the kids must have thought we are real urban farmers.
And so goes springtime: shoveling compost, garden installs, consultations, Just Fruits, doing the books, and blogging past midnight. I wouldn't trade it for a desk job any day.
To keep things visually interesting, here is a picture from a week back where I did an intro-garden-maintenance talk at the Havana Community Garden orientation. Do you know that all of their 38 15x15ft plots are rented and they have a waiting list? Do you know they only started organizing their community garden last fall? Kudos for Havana.
Below I share picture-space with the amazing Dr. Jennifer Taylor of the FAMU state-wide Small Farms Program. Just so happened, she also was in Havana to offer an intro-talk to gardeners.
Wanna know what's exciting my sense of possibilities the past few weeks? Jennifer Taylor and I are working together on dreams to gather all the Big Bend community and school gardeners, activists, organizations, resource people, and supportive governmental types for the "First Ever Community Gardening Gathering of the Big Bend." As I know more, I'll pass it along.