A Modern-Day Victory Garden – Who’s In?

The Community Garden in Bedford is officially under construction.

One of the great things about my life is that I manage to work on and talk about things that inspire me.  I’m passionate about good food, I love to write.  I am giddy over fresh, gorgeous produce.  When everything comes together and I get to talk about it?  That, for me, is bliss.

As I wrote earlier, I’ve recently gone through a rough patch.  I’m still dealing with the fallout from all of this but have forced myself move on.  It is my hope that I never have to dwell on that subject again.

BUT… as with most things in life, some good can be found in just about everything.  I was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people doing wonderful things and I think my life will be better off down the road because of it.

One of the people that I met was Alex Horton.  Alex works for a nonprofit group in Bedford called 6 Stones.  6 Stones was originally created as a 501(c)(3) by First Baptist of Euless.  They are still tied to that church but their work now spreads so much further.  They serve people in the HEB area with food pantries, clothing rooms and recently a huge drive for shoes.  They put together backpacks for kids who might not otherwise have school supplies and try to meet needs wherever they can.  Alex approached me at a Chamber of Commerce meeting where I was representing the market.  He told me of a large community garden that they were starting and wanted to talk to me about supplying local, organically grown produce for our market.  This was exciting and I was in love with the idea of working with this great organization.  When the market fell apart, I was determined to find a way to collaborate with them on my own terms.

When speaking with Alex, I couldn’t help but think of the Victory Gardens in WWII.  Food was being rationed and the government encouraged people to plant gardens.. in their backyards, in vacant lots, on rooftops… wherever there was space.  Neighbors, friends and strangers came together and created large gardens full of different types of food – all in the name of patriotism.  Today with the economy struggling, the price of gas, the high unemployment, we’re in a similar spot.  Why not get back to the Victory Garden frame of mind?  It makes perfect sense.

Last week, the Bedford City Council unanimously approved the garden plans and constructions.  On Saturday volunteers including a team of Master Gardeners who are volunteering their time began laying the raised beds, bringing in a special organic soil, routing irrigation systems.  There is still much work to be done and volunteers are needed on every level.  If you’re interested in that, or in renting out your own plot, just let me know.  But I also have a way you can enjoy the benefits of this local garden without lifting a garden hoe.

What I would like to do is organize a produce co-op.  The Bedford garden will eventually cover 8+ acres and they are expecting to have a lot of “extra” produce.  All locally in-season.  All grown according to organic practices.  Pesticide free, chemical free, fresh produce.  Grown by master gardeners for a great cause.  It’s expected that the first harvest will be late summer, early fall so this gives us time to set everything up.  For $25 each week, you can receive a box full of local, organic produce.  Until we have a better idea of volume available, I’m going to limit it to 10 people for now.  Well… 9 because I’m totally in.  Let me know if you’d like to be in too.  As the garden progresses, this plan will also develop.  Right now I’m trying to gauge interest.  Let me know by either commenting here or sending an email to crystalwalls@getfreshmarket.com.  It’s sure to be a very good thing!

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