Community gardeners get their hands dirty

May 18, 2024

A sprinkling of rain the morning of Saturday, May 18 made the afternoon’s community garden planting at Damien’s Place Food Pantry slightly dreary. 

Even so, gardeners dug in and got their hands dirty, planting seeds that will grow into all kinds of hearty food. 

Damien’s Place Food Pantry placed 32 raised garden beds outside its new location as a community garden pilot program

There are only “four or so” beds left unclaimed, said garden manager Steven Tempini. 

In the run up to the planting day on Saturday, green weeds had started to sprout in the garden eds — that was the sign of good soil, Tempini said. 

Marcia Booth and Teri Duarte worked one bed together, planting tomatoes, green beans, peas, lettuce, yellow squash, blackberries, kale, parsley and more in their five-by-10-foot plot. 

“Hopefully they’ll grow,” said Duarte. 

Booth said they joined the program because they live in a place that doesn’t have gardens. She said they hope to grow enough to feed themselves and to give back as well. 

Michael Lindquist, one of the community members helping provide plants to newly-fledged gardeners, said he chose easy-to-grow varieties to hand out. 

“Giving anything that’s hard to grow is pointless, because you’re not going to feed people with it,” he said. 

Some of the plants on display were already two months old, and ready to go into the ground — he was having trouble keeping them healthy in their small pots, Lindquist said.