by: Erin Caldwell
stored in: General

Although Huffman Neighborhood is made up of many, many beautiful and large homes (perfect for families!), there are few with yards big enough to grow a substantial vegetable garden AND leave enough space for your 3 & 1 year old boys to run wild. Last year, my husband and I commuted to Grandmother’s garden all the way in New Carlisle which was less than “green” and took up a lot of our time. It was definitely not convenient enough to drive up there to gather the ingredients for the night’s salad. Last August, we moved from our rental in Huffman to our first home in Huffman. The house has been expertly restored, is lovely and large, and was within our price range but the yard was quite smaller than we had hoped. We’d been hearing all the buzz about community gardens, and decided to do some research. There are quite a few empty lots in the neighborhood–two right around the corner from us! Thankfully, the owner (St. Mary Development) was thrilled to let us use them. We were put in contact with a wonderful lady at the Dayton MetroParks who gave us all the hows and what-to-dos and we were off and running! Lucky for us, we’re not only surrounded by good neighbors in Huffman, but we have family and friends who also live in Huffman and were willing to help with the initial set up and costs. We also applied for and received a grant from Keep Montgomery County Beautiful with which we purchased some flowering fruit trees and perennials to make the space a little more ascetically pleasing. All of the details of the garden fell into place and it seemed like the community as well as our friends and family were eager to be a part of this endeavor. We currently have 7 raised beds in which our cold weather crops (spinach, peas, lettuce, etc,) are flourishing. We’ll plant our warm weather crops this weekend.

Even though the growing season isn’t even half over, we’ve learned a lot. How to plant, in what to plant, weed control, and let me tell you, after hauling buckets of water from our house to the garden, I’ve never in my life been more grateful for the rain.

Next year, hopefully, we’ll really know what we’re doing and we’ll spread the word to any and all of our Huffman neighbors to adopt and use their own raised beds. Maybe by gardening side-by-side, we’ll all become not just neighbors, but friends and fellow laborers in our harvests!

3 Responses to “Community Gardening in Huffman!”

  1. Joel Michael Says:

    Fantastic work! I’m going to walk over and check it out today.

  2. Joanie Amato Spain Says:

    This is awesome. What a terrific way to beautify and utilize a vacant lot. We’ll stop by to visit soon! I drive by the urban farming Project on E. Fifth [at June St.] almost daily. It is amazing, too :)

  3. Danielle Dumont Says:

    The photos of the garden are so great, I had to check it out in person. I’m glad I did! The col weather crops were healthy, and I saw the seeds for the summer crops being planted on Saturday. Way to go neighbors Erin, Mark, Jason, Jenny, Jeremy, and Joe!

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