This year has been full of struggles for everyone and it has been very overwhelming especially for me.
I have struggled a lot these past few months but SOMETHING GOOD has come out of these challenging times.
I have been given an opportunity to help manage a community garden through a non-profit. Shep, who is my co-worker and my best friend here in Michigan, asked me to help him run the garden in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit. I really don't think he realized what he was doing when he asked me because when it comes to helping people I can be a little much… I have made him do so much more than he intended to this year.
I just wanted a lot of space to plant flowers!! But that meant that we needed to clear a LOT more space (pun intended).
The two of us have had to do a ton of work to prep the garden for the community to plant in. Shep and I have spent the past few weekends weeding and cleaning up the glass that is scattered all over the lot that I am collecting to use for stepping stones I am going to make (pics to come!) We rented a rototiller and Shep turned over the soil while I painted signs for everyone's plots.
The following weekend we had 8 yards of dirt delivered and a few community members helped us cover the garden in 3 inches of fresh soil and compost on a 90 degree day, so we could get the plants in the ground without further delay.
When I arrived early the next morning, a momma deer and her two fawns were walking through the garden. Super cute but BAD NEWS for our emerging garden. After putting up a rope fencing to attempt to keep them out. I stop by the garden to water the plants and found out that the deer had knocked down our fence. They snacked on about half our plants. After weekends of hard work, it was devistating to see it gone so quickly.
After being asked a bunch of times by my family what I wanted for my 30th birthday I realized that I wanted to raise money for us to fence in this garden for the community!
I have big plans for this garden but none of it can happen if animals can easily access the plants. I have spoken with Hilary, who runs the non-profit (Redford Brightmoor Initiative), and she said there is a possibility that next summer I could get a grant to run my own summer garden camp for kids in the city at the garden. Which just adds to the list of reasons why I know this is what I want for my birthday this year!
I would love nothing more than to create a safe and beautiful space to teach kids about plants and animals.
This garden feels like the perfect way for me to start the next decade of my life and to help the community I have grown to love over the past few years.