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Home Beekeeping

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Kitchen Garden Store

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vegetable garden

Lewisburg Community Garden
Looking southeast across the Lewisburg Community Garden reveals a variety of vegetable plants. One border of the garden (visible on the right in the photo) sports dozens of sunflowers.

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania – the town where I live – got a new gardening hotspot this year. Bucknell University turned a chunk of downtown real estate into a community garden. The garden covers what might have been two or three in-town lots and is obviously very popular.

Small Kitchen Gardens within a Garden

The Lewisburg Community Garden includes 22 garden plots available for rent by citizens. These small gardens within a garden vary in dimensions, though they seem roughly to have equal square footage. From the looks of it, all these individual plots are in use.

Each gardener brings unique style to the community garden. Some of the plots have a Square Foot Gardening flavor, while others have more of a post-Neanderthal sensibility. In each, vegetables of many types grow with promise of fine harvests for the community’s gardeners.

Lewisburg Community Garden looking north
In late spring, the new Lewisburg Community Garden was growing vigorously. This view is from outside the garden’s south fence looking north. The land floods periodically so making it a garden rather than housing seems quite sensible.

Garden for the Community

Personnel from Bucknell and community volunteers maintain nearly half of the community garden for charity. What they grow in it goes to a local food bank – and there’s a lot growing there.

Experienced gardeners provide expertise, and it’s clear from the associated blog that many involved parties are learning gardening through this project.

It’s such a joy to see plants emerge and develop in the community garden. I hope this becomes a focal point for people to learn about real food; about how plants convert sunlight into stuff we can eat, and about how homegrown produce is so much better than the processed, packaged stuff crammed onto shelves in the local grocery stores.

Lewisburg Community Garden carrots and squash
The carrots in this section of the garden will eventually go to a food bank as will the summer squashes from the bordering rows. Actually, the summer squash is already producing heavily; you might be able to spot a few yellow fruits among the leaves on the left.

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young front yard home kitchen garden

The homeowners here make no apologies; they planted a home kitchen garden in their front yard, so live with it. I’m glad I live in a community where food plants don’t offend people’s tastes.

There has been a lot of fuss recently about turning front yards into home kitchen gardens and I’ve been making a lot of it:

  • I was happy to report in April about Ivette Soler’s, The Edible Front Yard, a book that encourages its readers to replace their useless lawns with home kitchen gardens that both look good and produce food.
  • I posted in early July about the nonsensical government of Oak Park Michigan prosecuting Julie Bass for growing vegetables in her front yard.
  • Most recently, I railed during a radio interview about the crime we’ve committed against our planet by planting lawns in every yard, and I explained my plan to replace my lawn with food. (The interview wasn’t yet in the archives when I wrote this post, but it should be there soon.)

During these months, I’ve enjoyed watching the progress of a new garden that appeared this spring in my neighborhood. Yep: it’s in a front yard. We walk past it occasionally on family walks with the dog, and I’ve watched the plants grow from seedlings into young adults. It warms my heart and I hope the homeowners expand their planting bed in the coming years.

maturing front yard home kitchen garden

Perhaps six weeks after I shot the earlier photo, I captured my neighbor’s home kitchen garden growing strong. Someone is going to have a lot of tomatoes to deal with, and that’s way more awesome than having to deal with a useless lawn.

 

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