eastside garden tour

welcome new viewers – several folks have subscribed to the blog in the last month, which is surprising given the fact that i’ve been posting so little.

this is an old topic, but if you want posts you are gonna have to deal with my backlog – i’ve been busy, out of town visiting family and then in an epic painting project around the house.  we spent five days caulking, insulating, and painting two rooms in the house, bringing our total rooms painted to eight and only two left to go (three if you count the pantry as a third).  the painting looks rad, and the house feels super cozy, we have been able to hang some pictures, and even though we have been here for almost a year, it’s just now feeling like home.

we ordered our first perennial crops this last week as well, strawberries, asparagus, hardy kiwi’s and a peach and cherry tree.  peaches and sweet cherries are both a pain to grow organically, but we want them so very, very much, and you make sacrifices for the things you want.

but back to the post: the  eastside garden tour – i led a tour of gardens for the great lakes bioneers gathering back in october – which feels like last week, but my perception of time is all out of wack – it feels like three weeks ago i was coaching though almost 40 hours of labor and meeting my son for the first time- and that was well over 3 months ago.

this tour was of some of the gardens that i don’t feel get as much attention as i feel they deserve, gardens that are tended by my heroes,  that are my inspiration.

our first stop was to visit edith floyd and her garden growing joy.  i’ve written about edith before – here and here.  i’d not visited edith in some time, she had been very sick and lost her voice and her husband had passed.  she had scaled back, as she wasn’t able to keep up, but was already planning for next year.

edith'sit was mostly high school youth on this tour and i was very impressed with how quiet and attentive they were to listen to edith despite her low recovering voice.

next stop was mark covington and his project the georgia street community garden.  to call it a garden is somewhat of a disservice – it’s much more than that – they have a community center with a computer lab and meeting space, a menagerie of animals, community gardens and orchards, and a community film screening area. georgia1georgia2georgia3georgia4georgia5mark is a brilliant host, and amazingly warm.  for many of the students this was the first time to be around farm animals and it was so fun to watch them transform from fear to curiosity to delight.  they all seemed really interested in mark’s story.  i know i certainly am, and it was nice to be able to share with these young people.

last stop was feedom freedom growers.  i love, love, love what feedom freedom does – enough to have written this article, and this blog post.

much as i love feedom freedom they have a lot on their plate, and i was worried that they might not remember our plan to visit.  that happened to be the case, but wayne, the cofounder rose to the occasion.  ffg2wayne focused a lot on the importance of soil & spent a good amount of time showing off the compost pile.  not all the students were all that interested but i think for a few the ideas were exciting.  since the last time i visited feedom freedom, they have added a earth oven for outdoor cooking.  they didn’t have it fired up, but it was fun to see it.  i’ve been wanting to build a earth over for some time – and seeing another one built made me feel more inspired to build one.
ffg1if you haven’t had a chance to go to great lakes bioneers, i highly recommend going, it’s one of the few “conferences” i really enjoy.



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