Laura and I kicked and heaved at the packed ground on the Northside of the site along the fence with spades. The hot sun only increased our fatigue. Every other scoop was stopped short by buried stones and bricks. As the morning passed, blisters slowly emerged on my hands until it stung to grip the shovel. “This is crazy.” I thought to myself. Going into the project we knew that the Honey House Farm was going to require a lot of work to get things from where they were to where we wanted them to be. However, it became increasingly apparent that it would surpass our expectations. Rebar, glass and boulders seemed to be strewn across the yard in chaotic patterns and we quickly adopted the mantra that “there will always be more.”
What we were unearthing and pulling out were the remnants of a hidden gardenoasis which had sat on the property. The site was previously tended to by a man named George. I have never met him personally, but I have met his work. To me, much of it made little sense. We have discovered five gallon buckets, buried wood and rock. Even fishing sinkers had been discovered. A chaotic mess to the unknowing eye but apparently George had a deeper plan. Five gallon buckets worked as good containers to plant in and the wood, stone and fishing sinkers were meant to leach certain trace elements needed by the plants when hung from the branches of trees. All things that initially escaped our appreciation.
Since the beginning, a lot has since changed. Daily, many people come by with surprised looks on their faces at what a change has been made and tell us snippets of the property’s past. We hope we can honor this legacy. We’re attempting to save as many of the plants on site as possible and give away to the community what we cannot use ourselves. We are also trying to build and repurpose much of the materials left on site to make trellises, container gardens and even bird feeders. Our hope is to create a space that continues to bring beauty, food, habitat and education to the community. To do that, we’ll need to stir things up a bit. It is always a painful thing to have to destroy something beautiful, something unique. But we believe we can regenerate the garden into a space that will continue to provide the it’s initial benefits and then some. We move forward into our first growing season with reverence for what a special place we have inherited.
Keep on Growing,