Des Moines Garden

One focus of this blog is community gardening and encouraging participation in the Garden Writers Association program “Plant A Row For The Hungry”(PAR). My friend, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, author of “Edible Flowers From Garden To Palate” and other gardening books is president of The Garden Writer’s Foundation which helps to support and promote PAR.
Cathy lives in Des Moines, Iowa and is an inspired life long organic gardener with a keen eye for design. Recently her landlord requested that her front yard garden be converted to a lawn. This means many valuable perennials had to be dug and distributed. All the vegetables were harvested and shared. Fortunately, her neighbor, David Clem, convinced the landlord of the merits of a “formal” low growing edible landscape. Then her Sherman Hill neighborhood pitched in to help and in the process a plan for several new community gardens emerged.
Throughout the neighborhood, other gardeners who had loved Cathy’s garden were interested in converting their lawns to growing food, herbs and cutflowers in their front yards. Now they are creating several new organic community gardens in Des Moines. Their objective is to create a series of show-stopping,  organic edible gardens with Sherman Hill becoming the gardening hot spot of Des Moines. They also will participate in PAR by contributing surplus produce to local organizations.
I talked with Cathy on Friday, November 10; snow was falling with an inch on the ground. Earlier in the week temperatures were in the 80’s. She and her neighbors had prepared the soil of these new plots and sowed some with a cover crop of Tyfon. It went in a little late and they are nervously hoping it will establish before severe cold arrives. We’ll be checking in with this group and showing a few photos as this community garden develops.

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