Garden Progress at Freedom House!Posted: May 5, 2015
Last week we began putting plants in the ground at Freedom House!
Mike the maintenance man built beautiful cedar beds from wood hewn in Lamar. With the large potting soil donation from Arlene Tucker we were able to fill one bed of the two beds and get the veggies in the ground!
All the vegetables were grown locally from seed. The tomatoes and peppers were donated from Laughing Stock Farm and are a variety of 25+ varieties that farmer Josh Hardin has grown over the years. “Every year,” he explains, “I save a single tomato off of my favorite and add them to the mix.” The other plants came from Armstead Mountain Farm in Jerusalem, AR. “They are the oldest organic farmers in the state and my heroes,” Josh explains.
The crook neck squash came from the Victory Garden, a small community garden in the Stifft Station neighborhood of Little Rock. The onions came from Faulkner County from a woman who’s been growing them for 60 plus years.
Residents filled the beds with soil and planted all the veggies while we talked about soil and plant care. Many of the residents have gardening experience and used their knowledge to make decisions about where to place each plant. While we were working in the garden one of the residents noted that one of the pepper plants wasn’t looking too good and a few of us said maybe we’d just skip that one. She insisted we didn’t give up on the tiny pepper plant and instead go ahead and give it a shot and put it in the ground. So we did.
On May 12th we’ll get the flowers and herbs in the ground for the grief and healing garden, which will include a participant led ceremony where residents will write or draw stories on paper which will then be burned and placed in the soil, symbolizing new beginnings. Thanks to a donation from Cody George, a native plant expert, we will be able to purchase some local milkweeds from Pine Ridge gardens, which will help bring and sustain butterfly populations to the garden!
Below are a few more pictures. Please note that due to confidentiality agreements, residents faces are not shown in any of the photos.
If you’d like to donate to this project, many resources are still needed including additional garden soil, garden tools, and a monetary donations for the garden fund. Contact Meredith Martin-Moats at 479-957-0551; email@example.com Or Audra Butler Hankins at ARVAC (479) 229-4861.