Every once in a while I've mentioned a community garden here, but I don't think I've explained it yet. See, I like to volunteer my time as much as I can, and in the past I've volunteered with the Matthews Farmers Market. I love the market, the people and all that it stands for, but this year I've switched over to giving my time to the Little Sugar Creek Community Garden. It allows me to combine my love of gardening, creativity, giving to others, while giving me a little social time that has otherwise been pretty hard to find with a toddler. The real gem of a reason for working in this garden? Through it I can give quality food to those in need, all the while fulfilling some of my own needs. From the ACGA site:
This garden is an active Friendship Gardens network member, donating over 10% of its produce to Friendship Trays, the areas meals-on-wheels program. Because of this dedication to the public, LSCG is regularly recognized as "The People's Garden" by the USDA and Keep America Beautiful, Inc.
I'm considered a "garden coordinator", which I think just means I've opened my mouth one too many times. I actually just stand back and ask more questions while Nadine (the county liason in charge of compost education) and Katherine do the real coordinating.
There's a sign nearby makes me a little squeamish, but I'm more at ease knowing we don't use that crap to make things flourish; LSC lives off county compost and organic amendments. Even with the history of working with corporate polluters, this garden feels far more radical than the typical community garden. It's not about growing for oneself, it's about growing for others and, in return, cultivating oneself.
That's one place where I really have room to grow.
This year things are off to a slow start since we regularly have about 3 pairs of hands to weed, plant, and prettify. If you're in the Charlotte, NC area maybe you'd be interested in bringing a few friends out to help get things done?