Fall has treated us well here, I am sure you will agree (if you live here in Columbus, that is!). Take today: the sky can't be more blue, the foliage is in full blown display. It is quite lovely to live here, right now.
From point A to point B (part of my plan this morning), I had to go by Franklin Park Community Garden. Though I did not plan on stopping, I found myself pulling into their parking spot, and getting the camera out of the car.
I love this time of the year in the garden. I love it that there are still treasures to be found on the leaves and branches of the vegetables, and flowers and other produce that are still growing from the earth. These are the last of the fresh tomatoes, ripe eggplants, and sweet basil before we all go into hibernation and won't emerge again until next spring!
I also love all the colors playing against one another. The deep reds, the bright yellows, the crazy orange hue of the maple leaves that have fallen next to the dark green of the kale and broccoli. It must be a painter's paradise.
As I bent down to take a picture of some Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars on dill leaves, a gentleman named Bill joined me in marveling at these creatures' beauty. As we talked, I found out that Bill is the coordinator for the Franklin Park Conservatory's community garden. He is the man behind the amazing community garden projects in and around Columbus. He is also the man with inspiring visions. I was terribly happy that I stopped by and had met Bill.
We talked some more about our shared interest in community and school gardens. I learned a lot about what has been happening in Columbus alone. For instance, did you know that there is a free eight-week Urban Garden Academy course sponsored by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company right at the Franklin Park Conservatory? Did you know that if you have an idea about starting a new community garden somewhere in town and did not know where to start, you can call up Bill and just...ask?
I am very happy to see and hear that the "getting closer to our food source" movement (my own term), whether you want to call it Slow Food, Edible Schoolyard, Sustainable Community Agriculture, Locavore, or something else, is alive and well and growing in this community.
You can find out more about Franklin Park Conservatory, their programs and resources here! Best of all, I recommend that you go and spend a quiet morning (or afternoon) at the community garden. Bring your camera, or a book, and see where it will take you!