I remember my childhood garden. It took up most of the backyard, which gratefully meant fewer hours behind the push lawnmower. At one point I decided that our midwest backyard needed a tropical plant, so my mom helped me dig a hole for some sort of palm tree in the southwest corner of the garden. Being a non-native species, it didn’t grow much, nor did it sprout the expansive palm leaves that I had been hoping for, therefore we named it “Stump”.
I diligently cared for Stump, watering it when it looked dry, pulling weeds around its base and even talking to it with the love and affection that my mother shared with me. Yet Stump didn’t seem to respond, so a year later my attention went to a plot of flourishing strawberries.
We had many a meal from that garden and quite often shared many of the vegetables with our neighbors, due to the great abundance that we produced each summer. If I close my eyes tight enough I can taste the freshly picked tomatoes that had been warmed by the sun, I can feel the crunch of the sugar snap peas in my mouth and I can see the stains on my clothes from sitting in my strawberry patch with only my mouth as the collection bucket.
A few months ago I was asked by PACT and Whole Kids Foundation to help raise funds for an urban garden in Ojai at Topa Topa Elementary. Reminded by my childhood and the love of my time in the garden, the request was a no-brainer. Now as we survey the population and see that childhood obesity is the number 1 health concern in the US, due to 1 in 3 kids being overweight – this campaign to help build a community garden feels even more important. Providing garden fresh vegetables and fruits, greatly diminishes the chance of childhood obesity.
So please see my campaign below and pause to consider the chance to give some local children the same kind of garden experience. In return PACT will hook you up with some fantastic organic cotton threads, to make it worth your dollars: TOPA TOPA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL URBAN GARDEN