Sep 21, 2009 1:17 AM by Jeannette Hynes
A year ago, Dawn Hughes had a weedy, unused piece of land on her Knob Hill-area property. Now, she has a thriving, bountiful, community garden in the middle of Colorado Springs complete with lettuce, tomatoes, squash, carrots, herbs, and chickens.
"We have neighbors that aren't even part of the garden who will drive down the alley, say hey, and visit with the chickens," says Hughes.
Around 10 families have been toiling away all spring and summer to create and plant the garden, learning as they go.
"I don't know how to harvest broccoli to this day, but I will learn,” says Phyllis Meeks. "It's been therapeutic. My husband's deployed right now in Afghanistan, and I needed things to do.”
They’ve gotten to know their neighbors better, and they say everyone looks out for everyone else, whether it’s the weeding, the watering, or keeping the neighborhood safe.
“We've definitely become a closer neighborhood as a result of it,” says Hughes.
They’ve also started a neighborhood watch, and have 20 families participating.
"It's been a group effort. We've all helped each other. We've all made miracles,” says Andy Colon, holding a very large squash. “Eating fresh. There’s nothing better than that.”
Meeks says she strives to eat organic foods, and this garden was her introduction to doing it on her own.
“This has saved me a lot of money,” says Meeks.
"We've all started eating better because of the access to all this food,” says Hughes.
They're harvesting much more than food. They feel they’ve created a strong sense of community, and they’re willing to protect it, and help it grow.