I have very recently begun to take small steps toward living a much more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
One of the steps I’ve taken involves growing my own food at a local community garden, in which I am very privileged to have a small plot of land. I certainly take full advantage of it! I have grown pounds of green beans in recent years that have nourished me all summer long; I even had enough to freeze for the winter time! I have a large bush of raspberries which not only saves me money,but provides my daughter with antioxidants. I also have lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, mint, rosemary, parsley, kale, salad, beets, and carrots. This year we developed a really nice strawberry field, and planted 2 blueberry and blackberry bushes, as well as experimenting with growing corn.
This land didn’t always belong to me and my family, however, and the story behind it is not one I have shared often.
It was once run by a good friend of my mother’s. He ran a super tight ship, grew fantastic vegetables, and had a beautiful flower garden.
One day, he called my mother and very casually asked if she would take care of his plants. She was enthusiastic to help and said yes. Gardening has always been a really enjoyable experience for her.
The next day my mother and her roommate went to tend to the garden and spend time in the sun. When they arrived, they received tragic news - their friend had committed suicide….
My mom was heartbroken, angry, and filled with remorse.
The garden never belonged to us, and we hadn’t yet gone through the proper paperwork to attain that piece of land, but my mother refused to let anyone else inherit it. She immediately went to the manager and pleaded with him to let her keep it. This was her friend’s dying wish, the last thing he ever said to her, she was not giving it up. The garden community turned out to be a real tight one, composed of good friends, so everyone was pretty shaken about what happened. The manager did not put up a fight, the land now belonged to my mom.
We have since poured our heart into this garden. My daughter has grown up planting vegetables and eating from the Earth. In honor of my mother’s friend, we had planted a really beautiful flower garden, and every year add a new seeding to it.
Whenever I tell someone about my garden, they exclaim how lucky I am! While I definitely feel lucky, the story behind this blessing is bittersweet. I enjoy every minute I am there, and feel honored to have been chosen as one of the people to take care of it, but I would much rather have the original owner simply sharing the space with us than having inherited it.
I encourage you all to check up on your friends and family members regularly, ESPECIALLY those who appear strong and don’t seem to need you.
Here are some pictures of what has been growing so far. I am super excited to share the harvest with you all summer (and even winter) long! Thank you for reading and stay tuned.