My big project this year is trying to create a community garden… er… not really a garden… but a sort of free farmer’s market for our community. I guess I’m not really sure what to call it. But I’m excited to do it, whatever it is!
I’ve actually been thinking about it for a few years, but one thing or another has gotten in the way… health issues, pregnancy, newborn… but this year I’m going to get it done! See, I live in an area that isn’t really urban or rural. I even hesitate to call it a suburb. It’s just perfect, that’s all. Big enough to have good hospitals and nice stores, but small enough that most everyone owns a little land… not much land, mind you… just enough to have some grass and flowers and usually a small family garden. And every summer, people start walking around the neighborhood trying to give away all their extra zucchini. LOL. So I had an idea…
What if we had a regular time and place to meet with all of our extra garden produce. Everyone in the neighborhood would know that every Saturday morning at 10am, we’ll meet in the church parking lot for 30 minutes to give away extra garden produce…. which is actually the plan. I’ve only chosen the church parking lot because it’s centralized… and it’s not my home! LOL. They’ll let us do it there for free, as long as everyone takes home all their extra that wasn’t given away (basically, just clean up after ourselves). It’s not about religion at all, anyone can come and give or take anything they want. It’s just a convenient place to hold it.
I figure that if we always do it at the same time/place, then people will know they can rely on it and maybe do their shopping afterward. But it has to be reliable, every week. And I think it has to have some variety. I mean, nobody is going to come every week if all they can get is extra zucchini. LOL. So I’m planning for that too.
I have doubled the size of my garden this year, and I’m going to donate fully half of my produce to this adventure. I’m planting twice as much of everything than I usually do… which includes 2 types of summer squash, 3 types of winter squash, 6 types of melon, corn, peas, beans, bell peppers, hot peppers, 6 colors of carrots, 5 types of lettuce, kale, chard, parsnips, beets, onions, cucumbers, 2 kinds of radishes, and 7 different heirloom varieties of tomato. (Actually everything I grow is heirloom, non-hybrid, gmo free, and organic) Phew! It’s a big garden this year!!! Oh and potatoes, I’m growing 14 potato plants, 5 varieties (including one that’s bright purple!)..
It’s a big undertaking, but I LOVE to garden anyway. And I feel that if I grow all the extra fun/exciting things, then I can really get this project off to a good start. Instead of just finding tons of zucchini there, people will find rainbow carrots and heirloom tomatoes. I think they’ll keep coming for that.
Oh and to get the word out, I’m going to make up little fliers explaining what it is and all that… and I thought I could take them around door to door, attached to a fresh tomato or something. How would you like to come home to a free fresh tomato and a note about where to get more? I might have to have help distributing all of them though, so I’m still organizing it. But having more ideas and getting more excited!!!
Aside from just providing nutrition and free produce to our neighborhood, I really feel this is such an important project. I really feel like it will help us be more unified. Unity is a big thing for me. This world needs more love and understanding, more friendship and reaching out, more trying to help and understand one another, more getting over petty differences, more unity, more love. I can’t do much for the whole world, but I can do this for my corner of it. It’s my sincere hope that people in my neighborhood will come and find new friends, a sense of belonging and a desire to help and share with one another. Oh how we need to feel those things for the people around us! Do you know your neighbors? Do you really care about them? Would they feel like they could call you if they needed help?
So that’s my goal and my project. I’ll probably talk a lot about it on here as things really start to happen. What do you think? Has anyone ever tried anything similar? Do you have any advice or suggestions for me to make this a better success? I’m open to ideas!