A story from the Eau Claire gardens

Sometimes the best way to shed light on truth is by sharing stories. This particular story happened a few Saturdays ago, at the Forest Street community garden.

A man approached one of my fellow gardeners, saying he needed fresh produce. He further added that he knew about gardening because he had grown up on a Wisconsin farm. He was welcomed, of course, and as he worked he recounted stories from his youth. By the time two hours had elapsed there was a bounty of fresh vegetables waiting on the common table.

Our friend filled his bag to the brim with chard, peas, broccoli and other delectable freshly picked items. He beamed and said, “My partner is going to be so happy! We haven’t had any fresh vegetables in a long time!”

He left and I saw him, cane in hand, walking back over the bridge at a brisk pace.

Now you need to know that a few caveats apply here. The garden membership is actually pretty structured. People can’t just walk up outside of work hours and pick produce. And we pay a small stipend to participate, too. We all get together at set times and garden together. Really, it’s glorious. At the end of each work session we divvy up the produce. The overflow goes to the Community Table.

So maybe we didn’t follow all the rules with this friend who needed healthy food that day. But we definitely followed our hearts.

This is just one story from the Forest Street gardens.

Carolyn Haar

Eau Claire