Last Saturday, my daughter and I were walking up Linden Street in Brookline (MA), toward the Brookline Village trolley stop. On the left side of the street there is a fence that stretches along the property of a building that houses elderly and handicapped residents. Along the front of the fence, there were growing plants that I recognized as vegetables like those I grow in my own home garden: peas, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, cabbage, peppers, and tomatoes. There were also herbs growing, such as basil and parsley.
Along the fence there were signs hanging, describing the garden/ landscaping project, its history and purpose. The best feature was that the signs encouraged passersby to take the food that has ripened and eat it. This excited my daughter, too. She was also excited that she could read parts of the signs. And she was eager to sample some of the familiar-looking shrubbery.
I harvested a couple of basil leaves, a cabbage leaf, and a small red pepper because we were hungry. The whole idea of being fed by unseen angels sustained us until we arrived home to eat dinner. Bob Geldoff must have envisioned something like this when he sang “Feed the World” with his group Band Aid in the 1980s.
The idea that food is planted and sustained by a labor of love for those whom the gardeners have never met is founded on a spirit of pure generosity. It takes the idea of an urban community garden one step further by putting the food outside the fence, where anyone can have access to it. This is the ultimate act of love and justice to one’s fellow human being, and projects like this will brighten many days and lighten many burdens while the U.S. economy falters. Citizens who take care of one another in this way are the lights at the end of the long tunnel. May projects such as this one sustain many and multiply a hundredfold in the days to come. Thank you for being there!
To find out more about this gardening and landscaping project, and the people who have been keeping it going for its second year of existence, please visit the web address for the blog at the Two Hundred Foot Garden Project.
You are invited to visit my home page and order my book, The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply.