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Gardener Interview – Daphne & Nathan

On August 6th, Daphne and Nathan along with their children Theo and Gabe were interviewed to gain some perspective on their experience in the Community Garden. They live in Florence and have tended their two plots located on the eastern corner of the land for 3 years now.  Below is a conversation held between intern Charlie Henzel and Daphne and Nathan to reflect upon their experience and time with Grow Food Northampton’s Community Garden:

How did you hear about Grow Food Northampton?

We bought the house across the street and saw the garden. Our house we had in Ludlow we had two very large gardens, and our house now doesn’t have any sun to grow much of anything, so we signed up to garden here. — Nathan

What makes a garden important to you?

My parents had a garden growing up and we worked in the garden. It is a part of home to have a garden in the backyard or somewhere you can grow vegetables for the summer and store things. — Daphne

What do you grow?

  • marigolds
  • mysterium
  • zinnias
  • snap peas
  • mammoth peas
  • cucumbers
  • collards
  • lettuce
  • swiss chard
  • parsley
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • cayenne pepper
  • jalapeno
  • tomato
  • basil
  • carrots
  • rhubarb
  • corn
  • garlic
  • kale
  • eggplants
  • watermelon

I just transplanted like two or three things from the medicine garden, bee balm, tansy, and a little thing of motherwort so we will see if it comes up! – Daphne

We do the bean pole over in the play area and two varieties of grapes in the play area

Have you learned anything in the garden?

Certainly in the garden I have been trying new things and letting it go. There is always something you think is going to go well then goes completely sideways and the bugs attack it. Instead of holding on and getting upset you have to give it a pass for the year and try something new next year. — Daphne

Till methods! We have the big rototiller but hand tilling the smaller sections throughout the year as we turn stuff around. –Nathan

With our first plot we did not even till it we just spread mulch and I kind of aerated it a bit. We moved from really turning it over and tilling it to a no-till method. — Daphne

Can you recollect a favorite garden experience?

It was really nice to have a regular drop-in everyday. Do a little bit and watch how things work, wake up and see the garden. All of spring was waking up and seeing how things were moving in the garden. It was really nice. We have not had as much consistent visits to the garden as we did when it was the end of school. — Daphne

Grow Food also did the field trips where Theo got to come to the garden with his class and they did a field trip across to Crimson & Clover at the beginning of the year that they got to do. — Nathan

Community Gardeners are an important constituency at Grow Food Northampton, and we are grateful for their contributions to the strength of the local food system by getting their hands in our soil. 

The Community Garden is a very special part of Grow Food Northampton. It gives many residents of Northampton and nearby towns the ability to garden, whether or not they have land at home, are looking for a peaceful environment to spend time in, or are unable to afford starting their own garden. With increased accessibility to gardening at Grow Food Northampton, the benefits are endless; people are able to grow food to feed their families and garden with a sense of community.

This interview has been edited for length and/or clarity.

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