When you plant seeds they need water in order to grow. Once they sprout they need sunlight and more water. Three years ago, the seed for Girard Gardens was planted. After the Berean Institute gave us permission to start a community garden, we did some planning, held some meetings, took some classes and after some rain delays broke ground on a community garden. The initial workday was long and hard. We dug up an old tree stump, removed an electric advertisement sign and plowed over 1000 square feet, while adding compost to it.
Like seeds growing, the first year was difficult and it took us some time to get our bearings and learn what worked and what was not needed or what was forgotten. However our first year was also extremely exciting because progress was most evident. Where there was once weeds, is now dirt, once dirt now vines, once just vines now includes vegetables or real compost or beautiful flowers.
We not only grew in building the garden and maintaining it, but also in engaging and interlocking with the community. The first workday began with mainly people from Liberti church, which meets in the Berean (I also attend there and recruited help). As soon as neighbors saw us working, they began to join us and help. They also sign partnered with us in this adventure. Other times, people at a bus stop walked over and asked what we were doing and encouraged us in our endeavor. Random people stopped at stoplights would comment on how they grew stuff at home, which made both of us farmers. The garden slowly began to weave a new thread of community binding many of us neighbors together who had never known each other before.
Now we are over halfway through our second season and like a plant we have so many more leaves and buds forming. So as we continue to grow new branches and bloom, we hope to see you join us and that we not only grow plants but interweave our community as well.