A short email conversation between Alyssa and Roy Skeen from the Village Green Community Garden in Remington.
A : When was the garden started? By?
R : Garden was started in 2007 by Megan Beller and Barb Fischer and myself?
A : How long have you lived in Remington?
R : 8 months
A : Was it something you were wanting to do for a long time?
R : For about a year.
A : Who did and who didn’t have experience in gardening or farming before the project?
R : I had grown food for one season prior.
A : Did you do any soil testing?
R : Yes we did three soil tests.
A : Where were you able to get your top soils from?
R : Top soil came for free from Potts and Callahan and Hollins Organic (paid) and leaf mold from the city (free)
A : Do you know what the lot was before?
R : The lot was 6 houses which were torn down in 2005
A : What was the initial reaction of neighbors? any scratching heads?
R : Lots of scratching heads, lots of support. Most people thought it was a cool project and were happy somebody started doing something with the plot.
How many different crops have you had?
R : asparagus strawberries, kale, collards, spinach, carrots, beets, lettuce, basil, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash, okra, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sorrel, cucumbers, snap peas, lima beans, green beans, mung beans, garlic, potatoes
What are some of the challenges of compost?
R : We have not perfected our compost yet. The challenge is not having too much woody material.
A : Have there been any developments in the City Land Trust area?
R : We are still waiting for the city to decide whether they will protect community gardens or not.
A : What kind of grants were you able to receive from the city? We have received no grants from the city.
What has been the toughest thing?
R : Going there regularly.
What has been the easiest thing?
R : Going there regularly.
Any new plans for spring?
R : We are building 6 new beds on the southern portion and will hopefully have a tool shed there. We also wanted to do a "Start your own strawberry patch" project for the neighborhood, which we’ll do if we get a spring grant from Parks and People.
Any concerns for protecting the garden? Always wonder if it’s worth a fence. For now I don’t think it is, we had a lot of people glean from the garden last year, but we made the decision going into it to not let it bother us. The holy books say, “leave the four corners to the field” and that was our mantra this season. The Mennonites also tell a tale of a boy who says "Father thieves stole into the garden and have taken some crops". The father responds, "Well, next year we must plant a bigger garden."