Skip to main content

Sharing knowledge and healing in gardens

#6: Meet Sharona, Garden Leader at Ruby Hill Community Garden

“When I came back from the Peace Corps, I thought, “we are really in trouble.” We have a system that’s based on fossil fuels and it’s unsustainable. The Senegalese were living so close to the ground. They’re farmers at heart. When the rains came and it was time to start farming, they had a skip in their step. I felt more secure knowing where my food was coming from. When I saw the food insecurities here, I knew I needed to work with people on how to plant their own food.

This is such a vital resource that we need to be passing on to our new generations by making our food systems local. I’m still a student. I use the garden as a laboratory and a living library of knowledge. It’s trial and error every year. When new gardeners come in I think, “oh good, converting more people!” It’s been such a treat to see people become gardeners. Even in their 2nd year, it’s like a little jungle in their 12×12 plot.

The garden is a hub for building community. The garden is like a plant: you plant the seed and then the roots just get deeper and more established. It’s taking off on its own. Every garden has its own little culture. Multiple languages are spoken in the garden and it’s bringing people together. So many friendships have grown out of this garden, lifelong friendships. This is how we found each other.

I’m trying to foster “from seed to medicine.” We turned two plots into medicinal garden plots and one plot is donated to pollinators. It’s helping us bridge a gap of what our ancestors have always known. They were plant people, hunter-gatherers. That’s how we got here today. I want to help people reconnect with that again. DUG is a gift to our community. DUG says to us, “here is your gift, now go play with it!”

More Faces of DUG

Faces of DUG
August 25, 2021

Finding Mentorship (and more) in Community

"Last year, my boyfriend and I lived in the Cole neighborhood and had never gardened before. We lived in an apartment with no outdoor space and were home all the…
Faces of DUG
January 11, 2021

Gaining (soil) security in retirement

"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…
Faces of DUG
February 21, 2022

Connecting to People and Food

The importance of connecting to how our food is grown is never something I was taught. It is something I know in my heart, that I connect to innately, an…
Faces of DUG
August 12, 2020

Teaching the next generation about the magic of gardening

"I believe that every moment is a teaching moment. Getting the kids to see the world in a different way is a fascinating thing. Every time you get just one…