Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Giving Gardeners: Christina Cummings, Judkins P-Patch

Lettuce Link works with gardeners all across Seattle, helping them grow fresh, local, and organic produce for Seattle food banks. In 2009, P-Patch gardeners donated close to 28,000 pounds of produce, coming together to get good food to their neighbors. Through these Giving Gardener spotlights, we’re celebrating the work of P-Patch Giving Gardeners. To learn how you can donate garden grown produce to a food bank or meals program click here.

Surrounded by native plants and bursting with thoughts of spring, Judkins P-Patch is home to 21 individuals plots and one ever-growing Giving Garden.

Christina Cummings coordinates the Giving Garden at Judkins P-Patch. “It’s a good reason to be outside and to garden,” says Christina. “I’m always learning.” Christina began gardening three to four years ago, and her recent years in Seattle have been ripe with gardens, P-Patches, and community. At Picardo Farm P-Patch, Christina and her partner delivered produce to Silvercrest Senior Residences. Christina was also instrumental in founding Spring Street P-Patch in Seattle’s Central District, now in its inaugural season.

With Christina’s help, Spring Street P-Patch opened with an invested community behind it. “The community has really taken hold of it” says Christina, “and it’s great to see.” Spring Street also has a plot dedicated to food bank gardening, and they’re excited to grow and give lots of greens to the C.A.M.P. Food Bank in 2010.

Last year, Christina moved closer to Judkins P-Patch and got involved with the giving garden, planting onions, kale, and chard for the food bank. Judkins P-Patch donates to the Food Bank at St. Mary’s, less than a mile away. St. Mary’s distributes food to over 4,500 people each week, making it one of the busiest food banks in Seattle.

A directed effort to donate fresh, local produce from Judkins P-Patch allows gardeners to share with their local food bank and presents the opportunity for more gardening and community building. The importance of community, health, and nutrition, along with a love of gardening and vegetables, motivates Christina to grow for the food bank. “More people than we know use food banks” Christina notes, “it’s great to be able to connect with them through gardens and vegetables.”

Peas are sprouting up from the food bank plot at Judkins and onions are on the way. Be on the lookout for a new sign marking the food bank plot at Judkins. And if you see Christina, take a moment to say hi and help her dig in the dirt.

-Sadie Beauregard, Lettuce Link

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