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Urban gardening

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  • Robert Gill
    I have been gardening most of my life. A couple of years ago my son was about 3 years old and we planted a small garden. We ended up with a nice harvest, but
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 9, 2008
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      I have been gardening most of my life. A couple of years ago my son was
      about 3 years old and we planted a small garden. We ended up with a
      nice harvest, but what excited me most was seeing the way the process
      and the end product really sparked his interest. Last winter my wife
      and I bought a home here on the Eastside of town. We have a double
      corner lot and decided to have a big garden. I didn't have any special
      tools, just a shovel and a hoe and we dug and dug and planted seeds and
      plants and ended up with a ton of produce. We had so much food we were
      handing bunches of lettuce and other veggies to people as they passed by
      and sending it home with neighbors and co-workers. Friends and people
      in the neighborhood started asking "how-to" questions and got excited as

      I didn't have much of a plan last year, I just started digging and
      planting. I plan to buy a rototiller before spring and I am already
      ordering seeds that I will start in my basement in a couple of months
      under lights I have collected over the last few months. We are
      composting everything we can, which annoys my family but they are
      starting to understand, and saving containers and jugs to recycle for

      I am a seeking people who are interested in gardening, composting and
      recyling in the area so we can help each other in the process. I hope
      to be able to help others rototill their plots as well as share ideas,
      swap seeds and plants, and start neighborhood recycling and composting
      sites. Then we will all share in the end product, the fruits and
      vegetables with each other and donate some of the extras to the Eastside
      Mission and other food pantries and lunch programs. With the people I
      connect with I also hope to start a community gardens, either on unused
      or vacant land or in the corner of one of the cities under use parks
      such as Longway over here by my home. I have offered my garden and any
      projects that will be started to the administration at my son's school,
      Potter Elementary to be used as a teaching tool for the kids. We have
      also discussed the possibility of field trips to other gardens, orchards
      and the Flint Farmers Market. I convinced the principal that the fall
      trips to pick out pumpkins are not enough, kids need to be involved in
      the process of food and earth as much as possible.

      Another project is something I call Urban Orchards. A group of
      volunteers would take small plots throughout the city near schools and
      parks and plant fruit trees and bushes along with some landscaping and
      benches. The orchards would be maintained by the volunteers as well as
      local residents and students. The fruit would be fair game to anybody
      in the neighborhood looking for a good healthy snack and uneaten fruit
      would be collected and donated. In addition to volunteers, I would seek
      donations from area businesses of trees, tools, money, food and drink
      for volunteers. I also need to find a way to get the city and/or
      landowners to grant the use of the small pieces of land and have them be
      protected from sale or paving over. Well I hope I have given you an
      idea of what I am trying to do, if you have questions or ideas please
      let me know.

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