The community garden

The idea was always that we’d have fresh produce for our homeless friends. But the community garden at CRC World Headquarters hasn’t turned out that way.


After the flood, one of our board members, Chip Higgins, built raised beds in front of our refurbished building. He planted blackberries and strawberries. The blackberries flourished. The strawberries did as well. Seasonally, we planted cucumbers, watermelons, beans, onions and tomatoes.

Then we added three raised beds in the back of the parking lot and put in more tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and cold weather crops like broccoli and lettuces.

But the flood had an unintended effect. The homeless folks who routinely passed CRC on their way to their encampments no longer came by. The flood had taken their camp and they were now somewhere else.

Jay Clematis

But we keep planting. This year, we’ll put a sign out that says “help yourselves” to encourage picking. And The Millennial has discovered he loves gardening. The Baby Boomer couldn’t be happier.

So some tips on putting in a garden that don’t involve having your soil tested by the agricultural department because that’s just way too time consuming and it’s kind of like reading the directions before assembling the new grill. Why would you do that?

  • Amend your soil every year with manure and fresh soil. The plants from the previous year may have left it a little less nurturing than you need.
  • Plant new plants farther apart than you think they should go. What is tiny in April is gargantuan in August.
  • Water, water, water. Especially in the beginning. The roots of plants seek water and the more deeply you water the deeper the roots will go.

Or take some actual expert advice from The Old Farmer’s Almanac. They’ve been at this since 1792 and there’s a reason they’re still around.