On a recent warm, breezy summer Monday night, I braved the strange crosswalks and lights over the bustling N. 45th St and followed Bagley a couple blocks north until it dead-ended into a park. In the wide open spaces, shade sheltered a woman throwing a ball for her small dog, children kicked around a soccer ball, and I could hear the clanking sounds of gardening tools from my right. Following my ears, I rounded the corner and entered the Good Shepherd P-Patch.
None of the gardeners could remember exactly how long the P-Patch has been sponsoring and cultivating a Giving Garden through Lettuce Link, but it’s been at least several years. As a result of these dedicated volunteers, not only can a casual passerby enjoy the quiet yet abundant sanctity of the garden, but one can learn about various sustainable gardening techniques: green roofs, pollination, succession planting, summer/winter rotation, cucurbit trellis, double-digging raised beds, floating row covers, interplanting, companion planting, broadcast sowing, tomato trellising, and more. Moreover, the volunteers tend a Giving Garden, an area in which the produce grown is donated to FamilyWorks Food Bank.
On this particular evening, the P-Patch volunteers dug in and harvested over 51 POUNDS of food for FamilyWorks! I’d highly recommend checking out this gorgeous P-Patch, honing your gardening skills with the information posts you can find throughout the garden, and enjoying the bounty of organic food mixed with the beauty of various flowers. Just be sure to take note of the yellow plum tree you’ll pass through as you enter the gate – or you’ll end up with an overripe plum splattering on your head! (No one will notice, luckily, if you proceed to lick your fingers after you clean your hair.)
Want to get involved? The waitlist for P-Patches is notoriously long (I’m currently waiting for a spot at any of them, hoping not to have to ditch my potted tomatoes and beans when I move), but you may be able to find a space and a new friend with this garden listing. For more photos, please visit FamilyWorks’ Facebook Page.