Although the sun shone brightly—and fiercely—down on the garden outside the LSSND building in Fargo, the group of volunteers who showed up to work there were ready to go, already dividing the tasks amongst each other.
The garden is one of six Growing Together Community Gardens in Fargo, and those who work there cultivate a wide variety of vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, eggplant, cucumbers, spinach and more. After volunteers put in at least 16 hours of work, they get a share of the harvest.
Those who take the time to plant, water and hoe in the garden can reap many benefits. Not only do they get to take home fresh vegetables, but they also form a community in which they can meet new people. Additionally, as Khadga Bhattarai, who gardens there regularly and also serves as a Senior Companion at LSSND, explained, working in the garden is a great way to stay healthy and get outside.
“We like to work here for our health,” Bhattarai said. “Once a week we do hard work, and it helps our bodies to work in the air and sunlight while meeting and talking with people here.” He later added, “And the fresh vegetables are good for our health.”
Devi Siwakoti, who also works at LSSND as a Senior Companion, is one of the gardeners in charge. He shows up each week to make sure things are running smoothly. He explained that those who worked at each gardening session were the same people each week and numbered between 25 and 30 people, most of them older people. The garden also has two paid interns who help out. Anyone, however, is welcome to come by and work there.
Overall, LSSND’s Growing Together garden is a small but steady community where people can get sun and fresh air, talk to new friends, and grow their own produce. While the sun may be hot, the gardeners’ spirits are high and their strong work ethic shows through. Stop by the garden to check it out or help out for an afternoon on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 3-5 pm.
– Compiled by Michelle Foster, LSSND Communications.