Community Garden Q & A
Featuring Christine Evers/San Francisco Bay Area
How long have you been a member of your community garden?
-I’ve had a plot in the Brisbane community garden for about 15 years.
What are the best months for gardening and the most difficult?
-The garden produces most abundantly in the spring and summer, but in the SF Bay area we can grow vegetables year-round.
What do you plant in high season and in low season?
-In the spring, I usually plant lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, squash, string beans. This year I also grew miniature corn, very tasty. I like to grow crops that either taste better than those I find for sale or (like fresh baby corn) are not easily available. In the fall, I plant a variety of greens. This winter I planted several types of kale, Asian broccoli, and collards. These typically continue producing throughout the winter. I also have a rhubarb plant, which is dormant in the winter, but produces every spring. It is surprising how much you can grow in a small plot.
What do you enjoy the most about the experience and what is the greatest challenge?
-I enjoy watching my plants grow, eating the crops I have grown, and sharing them with others who don’t garden. I also enjoy the physicality of gardening—the mild exercise, feeling the warmth of the sun, and smelling the earth. The garden also provides fellowship. It is a great way to meet people who live in town, but are not close neighbors.
Dealing with insects, snails, and gophers can be a frustration. It can also be a challenge to take care of my plot when I’m working a lot. However, that is a good challenge; I need the incentive to put down the computer and get outdoors.
How has it effected your relationship to your community and neighbors?
-As I said above, the [community] garden provides a place for people who live in different parts of town to come together. It certainly fosters a sense of community and I’m glad the city provides this service.
Excited by your community garden? Share your story with Emerging.City to be featured in an upcoming column. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature Photo Credit: Aminah Ricks