By Francie Lin, GFN Writer-in-Residence I think everyone would rather forget the early pandemic days…
On July 10th, the Carters were interviewed to gain some perspective on their experience in the Community Garden. Kate and Chalais live in Northampton and tend their two plots located in between the raspberry bushes and garden tool shed. They have had one of their plots for four years, and the other for three. Below is a conversation held between intern Mik Henzel and the Carters to reflect upon their experience and time with Grow Food Northampton’s Community Garden:
How did you both hear about Grow Food Northampton?
We were trying to figure that out earlier, and we don’t remember exactly. But we were interested in general, especially while living in Boston we were interested, but it was always difficult to get on a list to get a spot. So when we moved out here we were on a mission to look for a community garden spot. I probably keyword searched community garden and it popped up. – Kate
What inspired you to take on a plot/what attracted you?
Kate was really interested and probably doing a little bit more gardening than I did, and so we found this and it was something we could do together and learn more about together. We were also just really interested in growing our own food because so many people in Northampton do that. It aligns with our own social values of being able to provide for ourselves and not having to rely on other system.
We were drawn to the larger history of this land” – Kate
What do you grow?
- Winter Squash
- Yellow Squash
- Green Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Green Beans
- Snow Peas
Have you learned anything while in the garden?
I have definitely from growing up in a rural environment have a way different appreciation as an adult in this space [gardening]. It feels like a pleasure opposed to a chore and so relearning for myself that it can be really pleasurable and enjoyable. I enjoy the labor of it, it feels fulfilling. We have also learned from our neighbors in some senses. Being in a place where so many people are gardening together you can’t help but be inspired but what you’re neighbors are trying or growing. – Kate
Other gardeners inspired our herb garden at home” – Chalais
I think for me just like one seed creates so much; one garlic clove creates a whole bulb of garlic. I think that is amazing, that is not something I thought while was growing up because I didn’t garden. I [learned] so many simple things that I enjoyed about it. – Chalais
Can you recollect a favorite garden experience?
I have two. Thinking about when [a friend’s] baby was here and loving the raspberries … in a general sense having young kids with us here visiting and getting to share the bounty with them and the experience of, you know, picking a carrot and washing it off and going and eating it. That has been very fulfilling. – Kate
I thought about picking carrots, because last time I picked carrots I just wanted to keep picking carrots. It was amazing. Also, something similar about how we’ve brought a lot of people here and people know that this is an important thing to us. When we first moved here we were celebrating our first year of getting married and so it feels like something we have learned how to do together over time. That’s probably my most favorite part. – Chalais
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.