Gaining (soil) security in retirement

By January 11, 2021Faces of DUG

#18: Meet Carin, backyard gardener and Grow a Garden participant

“I found out about DUG’s Grow a Garden program 6 years ago when I worked at a nonprofit called Servicios de la Raza. We would tell all of our clients to sign-up. I’ve continued with the Grow a Garden Program every year since, even after I retired when my dad got sick and I had to take care of both of my parents. 

The Grow a Garden program was what initially got me into gardening. I had always wanted to start, so it was the push I needed to do my research and jump-in. Now, I encourage everyone to sign up! It makes it so convenient. I love going to my pickup site to get my seeds and plants; it’s very clean, organized, and easy to find. 

I’ve developed an area in my mom’s backyard to use for my garden. She has many elderly neighbors in their 80s and 90s who aren’t able to leave their homes. Whatever I grow in abundance, I give to them, and they give to their friends. Everyone shares in the wealth. They’re so grateful because they can’t go to the grocery store, especially during COVID, and they live on a fixed income. 

I’m hoping more people will look into this program. It can save you so much on your grocery bills! Since I’m retired and only living on Social Security income, I wouldn’t have continued growing my own food without it. The price of organic produce is so high these days. This program makes it so that I know there’s no insecticide in anything I grow. For those like me who haven’t had good luck at grocery stores, this program makes food more readily available and even abundant. If you freeze your harvest, it can last throughout the year. I freeze everything, so I don’t have food waste. I still have tomatoes in my freezer! 

Gardening is peaceful, and it brings joy to people. Most people need something to do. Especially someone like me, who’s retired with no kids in the house. Other people do house cleaning or washing dishes, but I garden. It’s nice to be able to take care of something. Eating something you grew yourself gives you great satisfaction. What’s most fun about gardening is watching your plants grow. You get so excited!

All the programs DUG provides are fantastic for people who don’t know how to garden but want to start. Everyone needs to know about DUG–although then, you might grow too quickly, hah!” 

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