What I found at my Garden City Harvest plot surprised me. It provided

the solace I sought, and the familiar touch of gardening, but it also invited me to put

my own roots down into this community to which I was a new arrival.

- Brigid

Brigid  |  Community Gardens

 

Thirty plus years ago, I learned to garden from my elderly home health patients. As their nurse, I tended to their bodies, minds and spirits, and in return, they taught me. My patients have all since died, but they continue to garden with me.

 

Since being introduced to the gift of gardening, I have grown beauty, fed my growing family, and shared the gift of knowledge with others. It is as essential to me as breathing. Starting onion seeds in the dark of winter, turning the early spring soil, eating those tender baby greens, thinning the carrots to make room, celebrating the first tomato blossom, weeding with my children, pulling the first mature garlic, sealing summer in a jar, eating dried, frozen or canned garden beauty through the winter. For me, gardening offers hope for what is to come.

 

Hope grows in my garden.

 

When I unexpectedly moved to Missoula last year, I was grieving the recent death of my son, and trying to support the healing of my younger child. As soon as I arrived I signed up for a community garden plot because I needed to touch the earth; I needed to grow something; I needed to heal. What I found at my Garden City Harvest plot surprised me. It provided the solace I sought, and the familiar touch of gardening, but it also invited me to put my own roots down into this community to which I was a new arrival. Quiet conversations with fellow gardeners included shared stories of grieving and healing and fostered a peaceful shared space. I found myself wanting to help shape and share the larger gift that Garden City Harvest is . . . for it is a gift.

 

Hope grows in my little garden plot, and with it comes healing. Each day that we

come to tend our gardens, we leave changed. The strengths we glean from the

creative act of gardening and tending the earth and each other naturally spreads

beyond the fences of our community garden plots, and the Missoula community is made richer because of it.