A few blog entries back I introduced you to my friend Jan and her “stand-uppity” garden. Continuing in that vein I want you to meet my nephew Chris who has an amazing garden story too. He made the unorthodox decision to plant a garden in FRONT of his house and had no idea how this would change his life.
He chose the location because it received the best light but as he mapped out and planted his garden he realized that he was being closely watched. People that had never spoken before stopped and expressed their interest. Young parents brought their children to peek in the greenhouse and to ask Chris what he was planting and when it would be ready to be picked.
He believes that he’s met at least 30 or more people who live within 4 blocks … all of them “neighbors” that he would never have known otherwise. In Chris’ words: “It has turned out that the production of food has taken a back seat to all the other things this garden has done: community building, bringing neighbors together, a teaching tool etc. I still get a lot of food for myself, neighbors & the food bank, but it’s almost incidental.”
I couldn’t help but think how this idea could be adapted to so many of you seniors out there with “green thumbs”. I know that front yard gardens might not be practical or even allowed in some places, but how about putting a wheelbarrow or a small table out there filled with vegetables or flowers from your garden and a sign encouraging neighbors to help themselves!
It’s people that have the guts to do something unorthodox like this that break down barriers and forge friendships. If you have any examples along these lines please share them with us.