By Kristy MacKaben
The popularity of community gardening is taking root in Maryland.
Community gardens are the perfect option for families who don’t have space in their backyard or for families who need mentoring and like the idea of having experienced gardeners nearby, like the Fish family of Annapolis.
Before their daughter Harper was born four years ago, Lynne and Jeremy Fish knew they wanted to teach their children about food and healthy eating. When they first heard about community gardens, they signed up at Kinder Farm Park in Millersville and were placed on a waiting list for a few years. They hoped that through community gardening, where people rent plots of land, they would to learn how to garden successfully. What better way than by watching, listening and working beside master gardeners?
“It worked out pretty well. [Harper] was ready to go out there when she was 2 and that’s the year we got it,” Lynn says of their plot. “I just wanted her to know where food came from, and I wanted something we could do as a family outdoors.”
As it turns out, Harper Fish is a little picky about her food. But not in the I-only-want-chicken-nuggets kind of way. She loves fruits and vegetables — but only if they come from her garden — a 100-square-foot plot at Kinderfarm. They grow squash, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, watermelon, peppers, strawberries and blueberries that rarely make it out of the garden.
“Those are her favorite,” Lynne says. “She will eat basically anything she grows, which isn’t the case when we go to the store. Gardening has made her a more adventurous eater.”