In 2010, I participated in a program called the “Garden Helpers” that was a collaboration between Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle and Seattle Tilth. It was basically the Comprehensive Organic Gardening course that I took back in 2007, but from a teaching perspective. At the end of a five week course, we were partnered up with people in our community to do site visits and consult with them on starting their own edible gardens.
Unless you are part of a pea patch, or garden on someone else’s property, gardening can be such a solitary activity, something you do in the privacy of your own home. I liked the idea of getting out into the community, collaborating with my classmates, hearing about what they are doing, learning new gardening methods, and sharing tips and advice. But mostly, I liked the idea that I could then give something back to the community, by teaching someone else what I learned.
We had a certain number of volunteer hours to complete as part of the program, which I completed by the fall of that year. I know that some of my fellow “garden helpers” continued their involvement with the community, by volunteering at the gardens at the White Center Food Bank and the White Center Cultural Center.
One of my classmates, Meg Brown, just started her own edible gardening consultation and design company called Brown Dirt. She is also the author of the blog Grow and Resist. She is hosting a launch party this weekend and I am so excited to go. I am looking forward to checking out her new company, but also to getting back out there, reconnecting with a former classmate and seeing what someone is up to outside my own yard!