A Covid-19 Victory Garden or Community Giving Garden idea came about two months ago when I ran into Anne Miller on a walk. We were brainstorming ideas for “what could we do?” as we sheltered in place. What could we do for our Mt. Baker community and for our local food banks? Ann had the idea to build gardens in our parking strips. Anne enthusiastically started digging.  I reluctantly jumped on board. “Reluctantly” because gardening is not my forte – it stresses me out; “jumped on board” because I did want to “do something” and I loved the idea.  Perhaps we could get neighborhood kids to come outside and learn to be future farmers/gardeners.

I remember one day crying as I was digging sod out of the strip. Why? My son, Noah, had built the raised beds so well that I knew they would last 20(!) years. I do not enjoy gardening! What was I thinking? Then I had an epiphany. I could turn this beautiful plot into Plum Street Pea Patch! A perfect companion to my Plum Street Poetry Post. I would just have to find interested want-to-be gardeners to take one of the patches as their own to plant, weed, water, harvest. I would provide the space and water and if they couldn’t eat their harvest they would give it to a food bank.

The epiphany worked.

And it was win-win-win. I found interested growers within our block who I had never met before – building community one neighbor at a time. I was freed up to do what I love to do to relieve stress – make happy garden art with recycled materials. And the larger community could stroll by and watch the garden grow and perhaps in the fall enjoy part of the harvest

Stroll by the corner of South Plum and 32nd Avenue South and enjoy the growing Plum Street Pea Patch and read/pick up a poem from the Neighbor’s five-year-old Plum Street Poetry Post.


– Tese Wintz Neighbor