November 27, 2012

Community Gardening

What makes a great garden? The best gardeners know its not about what you plant but what you plant in. The soil makes the happy plant happy that makes the tastiest veggies. That’s why gardens are such great places to build community: there’s so much that goes into the making of good soil that it takes many hands and many minds to shape it up!

That may doesn’t mean everyone’s gonna be great at it right off. I was a consummate black thumb (avowed to never try to the grow a potted plant again) until, once upon a time, I found myself a weeding party among friends in a community garden. Seriously, I knew nothing of nothing (I mean NOTHING!) of growing things, but I played my part that day and the experience transformed my life. I tell people that when I first reached my hand in the ground it was like a catching a legendary fish that wouldn’t give in; it just pulled me into the water, never to resurface again.

The experience also pulled me into a relationship with the world around me that was real and personal where it had been anonymous. Plants became cilantro, dill, and hibiscus where they had been “that red thing”, or “that spiky plant with the woody- looking stem.” I acquired an intimate first name relationship with a dear friend I’d never personally met.

That’s what I’d like for each and every person at Vox. Not everyone is made to build gardens for a living as I’ve done. But I think everyone should know the first name of creation. It should be a pet that you know and love. She is beautiful and so desires to please if you would just spend a little time getting to know her!

How is this possible? Well, Vox is trying to get a community garden started on 12th Street, a few lots down from Space 12. We’ll need workers, artists, advocates, organizers…we’ll need YOU to make it happen. And until we do, I’d also like to invite you to join the Genesis Gardens volunteer crew — a program of Mobile Loaves and Fishes. We build beautiful garden environments with those who have the best excuse for being alienated from their place (but usually aren’t): the homeless. The homeless have a ton to teach us about living close to the earth as we learn together how to love her best. Interested? Send me an email or like “Genesis Gardens” on Facebook. What makes a great garden? You do!

[written by Steven Hebbard]

[Photo by rtotheobin @ Flickr]

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