THE FUNNY FARMER: An astonishingly boring, painful, humorous and occasionally insightful approach to gardening and life as amom, a former psychotherapist, and apparently a life-long patient.


My name is Cherie and I live in Southern Maine with my husband and two young children. I have a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and still have about 10k in remaining student loans to prove it. I left the field of practice three years ago, so this is not the place to be posting any suicide notes, okay? But if you want to hear about my garden and my gremlins, my pests and my problems, well then you just sit right down and read on!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Plant*A*Row Washout

There is this really cool project called Plant-A-Row For The Hungry that urges home and commercial gardeners to plant a separate row of veggies to be donated to your local foodbank.  I really like this concept because my past food drive donations tend to include things like canned soup and macaroni and cheese, things that are non-perishable and unfortunately not terribly healthy. 

My Community Garden has two plots designated for the PAR program, and last year was the trial run.  There are two Community Gardeners who head-up the PAR plots by coordinating the designing, planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, and delivering.  With the first-year glitches, early blight, and some garden flooding, the harvest was not as bountiful as hoped for.last year.  Many are committed to making this year be more plentiful.

My contributions so far have been a week of watering & weeding and the donation of several of my seedlings including tomatoes, cucumbers, husk cherry, patty pan squash, basil, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.  I'm pretty excited to watch the harvest grow and be delivered to our local pantry.  Though our community has a well-earned reputation of being pretty wealthy, there are segments that are definitely in need.  I personally am of the sound belief that it is shameful that ANYONE is hungry is the United States of America.  Absolutely shameful.

Having worked in social services for many years, I have witnessed far too much poverty, poor health, and hunger up close and personal.  In fact, my parents and grandparents experienced poverty and relied upon the good will of others on occasion.  My son's world is far from that reality and I have struggled with how to introduce him to poverty without completely overwhelming and shocking him.  I have concluded that the Plant A Row program is the way to do it.  One of my many hopes for him is that he becomes a charitable and compassionate member of society.

So this afternoon I dragged Oscar along to the PAR planting day.  On the car ride I reminded him of our conversations about how some people have don't have enough food to eat.  The first time I told his the laughed at me, thinking I was putting him on.  We talked about how healthy foods are typically more expensive than unhealthy foods.  And we talked about the importance of doing what we can to enable as many people as possible have healthy and sufficient food.  It is a lot to process for a child who is fortunate enough to have enerything he needs, but he was very thoughtful and considerate with his observations and questions.  Yay!  That's my boy!

Arriving at the Gardens, the organizers were busy building a teepee for pole beans.  Oscar and I carried our gift of seedlings and we looked over the sketch to deterine the location or babies would call home.  Not long into our planting adventure, the skies opened up and drizzle turned pretty quickly into rain.  Hearty and optimistic at first, we soon succumbed to the drenching rain and post-poned the planting. 

After everyone packed up and left, Oscar and I stayed behind just a little bit longer to splash about and to explore the talent, creativity and beauty within our Community Garden.  Some of my favorites today are the robot scarecrow, ski-pole poles, and the bedspring trellis.  Perhaps today wasn't such a washout after all!


kathy M said...

Love the PAR, feeding the hungry and building community at the same time. Good for you!

xo Cherie said...

Thanks, Kathy!