Lettuce Link Intern Rhona visited the Twin Ponds Community Garden this summer. Nestled within Twin Ponds Park, a $30,000 initiative by the City of Shoreline City Council to create a community garden resulted in today’s Twin Ponds Community Garden.
Since 2010, the once-fallow area previously mined for peat consists of 38 garden plots, water hydrants, shed, gathering area, and most notably, a “giving garden” staffed by volunteers for food donation. Along with being an effective use of land and promoting views of a “healthy city,” Twin Ponds Community Garden strives to stimulate community interaction and improve economic development within the area.
A walk past the Honey, Mason, and Spelling beds, all food donation beds commemorated after different types of bees, spans 17 plots and growing – and not a minute is spared. Beds are turned over as soon as the harvest is in, crops are rotated to keep the soil nutrient-rich, and volunteers are year-round to ensure maximal yield of the land, no time wasted nor inch spared.
Upon arriving to Twin Ponds, Nancy, a 4-year garden coordinator, led me on a tour of the community garden, proudly pointing out the zucchinis, squash, and tomatoes that were starting to come out. She led me past some well-maintained P-Patch gardens with quirky garden art hugging the vegetation, past the giving gardens, and to the garden gathering area, where garlic sprouts were sun-bathing on the picnic table. She and three others, Shellie, Randy, and Mical, were appointed by the city to head each work day, to oversee farm operations, and to communicate with their local food banks – a year-round effort.
Twin Ponds Community Garden is not only an example of sustainable gardening, but it is one of many symbols of community engagement. Here, we have neighborhood interaction and community cooperation – a badge of sustainability and service that the city of Shoreline can proudly wear.
There are four garden coordinators at Twin Ponds. They monitor the P-Patch rented plots – 36 10ft×10ft raised beds and 2 4ft×10ft accessible beds – but their real job lies within the center of the garden, a “giving garden” run by volunteers that has yielded upwards of 3000 pounds of fresh produce to date for the Hopelink Shoreline Food Bank.