Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Bounty Garden

I couldn't do anything about the color of the sky Monday morning, the blue sky that turned grey and red and spread. I couldn't do anything except tell my kids that they should take the media reports with a grain of salt, that sensationalism sells. I couldn't do anything except hope that the firefighters on our mountain were staying safe and that they were saving the lives and homes of the people and animals in the fire's path, which was 3,200 acres by day's end.

What I could do was help others. I dropped the kids at school and headed for The Bounty Garden, our community's organic contribution to the Contra Costa and Solano County Food Banks. I harvested squash and weeded and composted. It felt good. And it was still cool outside, a brief respite from the temperatures over 100F for four consecutive days.

There's just something I love about The Bounty Garden. It's not the bugs and worms. It's a visual place, 24 raised beds all in some cycle of growing. It smells like dirt, clean, healthy dirt. It's cute. The log books for each bed are neatly displayed in a rack by the shed door. The sign is iron. The compost bins are well designed, with removable horizontal slats. The tools and gloves are colorful and all put in their correct locations.

Heidi and Amelia Abramson are the mother daughter duo who came up with the idea then founded The Bounty Garden while Amelia was in high school. In the summer of 2012 three members of Danville Boy Scout Troop 223 built and installed raised, irrigated vegetable beds to earn their Eagle Scout designations.

More community members wanted to participate than there were vegetable beds available. Our NCL chapter was chosen.

The Morgan fire on Mt. Diablo is out now. More than 1700 firefighters helped put it out. There were no fatalities. Dave and I are in awe of the number of people who reached out to us offering assistance in the form of trucks, strong backs, beds and food.

I wish for you to never be in the position to mentally sketch what your home will look like when you rebuild.

Neighbors who move out of our 31-home community always say that our neighborhood is special. People inside it say the same thing. I don't know any differently. All of you seem to have close friends as your neighbors. The kids and adults play well together. I think that is what I'd miss most if our home were destroyed -- the neighbors who didn't come back.

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