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Cultivating love in the garden

#14: Meet Talia, Lowry Family Community Garden

“I signed up for a community garden plot at a DUG garden before I ever heard Daniel’s name. I was excited to grow things and put down roots, as I had just moved back to Denver. When I met Daniel, I found out that he was a super-gardener. On our third date, I asked him to help me in my garden. He humored me while I put random seeds in the ground. I had to leave town, and he asked if he could take care of my plot for me. When I came back, he had cleared out all the seeds and replaced them with seasonally-appropriate starts. And so began our gardening courtship.

Every week, we went to that garden and tended the plants, and our relationship grew. Gardening turned out to be a way for us to date. Our relationship moved pretty quickly. We were engaged within five months of meeting. We spent the whole summer gardening together. Those first five months revolved around gardening.

In September, Dan told me we needed to go to the garden to harvest our watermelon. We got there, and I ran off to start harvesting. He called me over, “Babe come here! You have to see this!” I came running, thinking he had found a squash we might have missed. He turned around with a ring in his hand and proposed. It was the perfect proposal for us because we grew our love in our DUG garden. We were even featured in the New York Times’ Wedding Section!

Over the years, we’ve grown thousands of pounds of food in DUG gardens. It has nurtured both our bellies and our hearts. Our family has grown to include two kids who love picking food in the garden and eating it right away. In the beginning, growing food was just for fun, but as I tasted how amazing food is when you grow it yourself, I don’t buy what I can grow in-season. We also pickle and preserve our harvest. I had been so oblivious to the seasonality of food before I started gardening. I can’t imagine my life now without it!

I learned how to garden in a DUG community garden. I would’ve never had that opportunity otherwise. DUG offers everyone in Denver a chance to engage with soil and understand the food lifecycle. What DUG does is essential, and I don’t think the community appreciates it as much as they should.”

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