Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Dream

Rosa and I have a dream.
Our neighbourhood is just that -- a neighbourhood. There's really very little feeling of community here and no pride in where we live. In fact, over the last eight years I have continually told people that this is not the area I wanted to live at all. It was the only reasonable house on the market while we were looking and we bought it "in spite" of the neighbourhood.

This used to be a city unto itself, not just a fringe neighbourhood. Where did the community feeling go? The pride in our streets and houses? Or in the quality of our schools? Or in the quality of our neighbours for that matter?

Now that I've invested in the school and in my house and in my yard, I'm not leaving for a long time. I have great neighbours. I love the school and the people I've met here.

So here's our dream.

We want to start a community garden.

We'd like it to become a place where neighbours plant together, talk together, play and laugh together. Initially we may just share planting ideas, seeds and canning jars, but in time maybe we can learn from our neighbours things about their cultures, or bits of their language. Maybe we can share babysitting services or they can find out about free ESL classes. Maybe the homeless won't have to dig through the garbage at 7-11 if they can pick their own carrots from our shared community plot, at least for a few months of the year.

That's a lot of maybes. But there's one "maybe" that's looking closer to happening. Last night we met with some community social workers and some city employees who gave us hope that we may be able to start this year already!

I know, that's another maybe, but it's one I hadn't even considered until last night. I'll keep you posted. If anyone out there has experience with community gardens and setting one up, I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime, I'm starting to dream even bigger about my own seedlings. I should start a few more tomato plants and buy the seeds for peas, beans, carrots and cut more big sticks for polebean supports and...and...

I'm going to have trouble sleeping for a while now, I fear.