Meet Our Newest Garden Leader

Recently, the city asked the Community Garden Coalition to take over and revamp a community garden site they had established next to Fire Station 8 at 2301 E. Nifong. Normally, the CGC doesn’t start gardens from scratch, but rather helps interested groups establish or run gardens. Community gardens need a person or people willing to be garden leaders who serve as liaisons with us. In this case, the Britt/Hall garden had no established group or leader. Still, we said we’d try to take on the project.

Board member Cheryl Jensen remembered that one of her past gardeners had moved to that area and has quickly found a willing garden leader by the name of Anh Thu Nguyen. We are so happy to have Thu on board and excited to see how this garden develops next year!

Thu and her husband Huy came to the U.S. from Vietnam in 2014 so that Huy could pursue his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at MU. Like many who come to school here, they found Columbia so wonderful that they decided to stay after he completed his degree. They have two children, a daughter, Bella, who likes reading and drawing, and a son, Leo, who plays piano and roller skates. Huy enjoys playing tennis and soccer while Thu likes to cook and craft. They all enjoy working in the garden growing vegetables and are looking forward to meeting the new people who join this garden.

P.S. Don’t forget that you can help us support the Britt/Hall Garden, and all the member community gardens through Dec. 31 when you donate to the Community Garden Coalition through CoMoGives. Your small donation means a lot to us!

Spring Thaw Gardener Mini Profiles

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.

gardeners DablerHere’s a little peek at a few of the faces of community gardening in CoMo.

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. Continue reading

Garden Leader Profile: Don Day

When the Broadway Christian Church decided to start a public community garden four years ago, Don Day volunteered to coordinate it. Under his guidance, the garden has expanded to 96 plots with over 60 families from all over the city tending them. Day says his absolute favorite part of the program is working with the many refugee families that have plots there. (The Columbia Refugee Garden currently adjoins the community garden at Broadway Christian Church.)

Continue reading

Garden Leader Profile: Lily Chan

Lily ChanMeet Lily Chan, co-leader at the Interfaith Garden.

In 2009, the Columbia Climate Change Coalition approached avid gardener Lily Chan through her church. One of the coalition’s sub-groups, Interfaith Care for Creation, initiated a new interfaith gardening project where people from different spiritual communities work together. Their goal was to grow organic fruits and vegetables for the needy, while listening to their spiritual calling to take care of God’s creation. Chan embraced the project and began recruiting volunteers within her congregation.

Continue reading