I’ll admit I’ve never really cared much about gardening. My grandparents did it in the country but I was more concerned about what was on their limited cable channels during my visits as a teenager. My other grandpa grew tomatoes in an urban setting, so did my dad in the suburbs, and so did my inlaws in the country-burbs….but I still didn’t really take advantage of learning from any of them either.
This journey of trying to live to the fullest, has evolved me into a more curious person as I grow older. It has challenged me to look and appreciate the process that people invest in creating and eating healthy foods.
We went to visit the urban garden of artist Rick Beerhorst this past summer.
He showed us how he transformed his backyard into walking produce aisles. His evolution of gardening knowledge and the foods have continued to grow over the years. He no longer has to purchase many of his vegtables at the store anymore.
I am constantly noticing community urban gardens sprouting up in cities big and small as I travel.
I think the appeal of communal gardening is the sense of community.
It’s also becoming more popular to go back to making your own fresh meals and actually knowing where your food comes from.
While at a Jeanie’s Gelato store, I met an employee who also doubled as a master gardener. I was immediately intrigued as he shared that there was a group of people who use their time and talents to bring fresh produce to a community food bank, 3 days a week.
First, I just made a running trip to check out the garden.
Then, I brought my oldest son.
Then the younger one.
So here we are, a few weeks later and my oldest son now knows how to pick a watermelon
and what the size of okra should be.
I never even knew what okra looked like! And I definitely had not tried to eat it before.
Now I know and can even tell you the size okra to pick.
This weekly opportunity has given the boys and I a new knowledge of gardening. It’s also given us a way to help contribute to the community…..rain or shine.
Today we followed the donation truck to see the warehouse that the produce gets delivered to.
This community garden has donated over 9,000 pounds of produce this year.
Today we witnessed a donation of 211 pounds of produce to the Tri State Food Bank.
I’ll admit that I’m not an avid veggie eater. That’s why I know it’s important to challenge myself and be a good example to my kids. Hoping to learn more as we continue to volunteer next to the pros and eat more veggies because of our new appreciation for the work.
Learn more about how you can get involved in a community garden in your area.
In Evansville-check out the Master Gardeners if you want to learn more about gardening.
OTR homegrown to learn more about community gardens in Over the Rhine, Cincinnati.
Check out this site to find a community garden in a city near you.