“The garden suggests that there might be a way we can meet nature halfway.” –Michael Pollan
I’m not sure what the founders of N Street Village had in mind when they planned the building but I am forever grateful that a courtyard and garden space was included. As we emerged from this year’s long…long…winter and the green returns to the world, the courtyard’s garden has burst to life. The roses are blooming, the peonies have just finished their bright days, and the strawberry plants are weighted down with fruit.
The clients often spend time in the courtyard during the day, enjoying the warm sun and the opportunity to socialize. Earlier this month, a resident stopped me and pointed to the garden, “Do you see the berries?”
I marveled at her sharp eye, sighting the small red bud through the forest of leaves. We walked over to the garden together and discovered hundreds of buds on the forty or so plants in our patch. Strawberries are one of those remarkable plants whose small seeds weather harsh cold to spring back up when the sun returns. So, with little effort, our patch has been quite the gift this month, providing hundreds of berries that clients in many of our programs can enjoy.
It has been a busy month of watching, waiting, harvesting, and sharing. I have found the most joy in being able to teach clients how to tell when a berry is ripe or when to leave it until the next day. I love being able to be part of a community that grows a bit of its food. As we look forward to our Family and Friends Day this Saturday, I am reminded that the loving community of N Street Village is not only looking after one another, but also after the land we steward. Please join us to help plant the rest of our garden—I’m excited to see what grows next!
By Kyle Lefler – Kyle is working with N Street Village’s Permanent Supportive Housing team in her second year of service with Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Kyle assists residents in working toward their goals in all areas of their life. She also has the opportunity to lead groups around the Village, focusing on self-esteem, community building & empowerment. In the future, Kyle looks forward to continuing her work alongside those in our community who are experiencing homelessness, poverty and addiction, as well as fighting for a world where such justice issues are not as prevalent.