At last weekend’s Spring Thaw event I chatted with lots of new community gardeners there to meet their garden leaders and pick out some free seed packets.
Leanna & Ryan Dabler have gardened before, but only in the lovely weather of California, so Missouri gardening could pose new challenges. They have herbs ready to transplant into their garden plot at Circus-Lyons and they’re also looking forward to growing beans, tomatoes, marigolds, cucumbers and a small variety of pumpkin, which Ryan is excited to cook into a delicious soup.
Todd Houts is eager to try his hand at gardening at Broadway Christian Church. He’s a beginner, but he’s recruited a friend with a little more experience to help him along and he’s going to grow some lettuces, spinach, tomatoes and peppers, both hot and sweet.
Julio Lorio & Ana Maria Fernandez have gardened at Ash St. garden for a couple of years and are going to be garden leaders there this year. They’re planning to grow tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, Chinese long beans, bell peppers and mustard greens. Ana’s also planning to try growing okra for the first time after a fellow gardener gave us both some tips on how to cook it (fried) and how to grow it (it gets tall enough that rabbits & groundhogs can’t eat your okra!). Julio had some great gardening advice. He says to be sure you always plant something that you don’t care too much about, just “plant it, water it, then forget about it.” That plant you ignore will be the thing that grows and grows and grows.
Hopefully we’ll get to check back in with Todd, Leanna, Ryan, Ana Maria and Julio later this season to see how their gardens grew. Do you have updates, photos, recipes or anecdotes from your community gardening experience? Send them to us for posting.