By LeeRozen, Columbian Staff Writer,
Columbian, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 1971, p. 24
Up north past Dollars Corner and across the Daybreak Bridge, a small group of Vancouverís senior citizens work a big vegetable garden several misty mornings a week.
Louella Thompson: "Now don't step on those little radishes."
The acre plot of land has a good sandy dirt they say. And "for someone who hasnít had dirt to dig in for a long time, itís great," Bessie Mclninch said.
"The one thing they hated most about moving into an apartment was not having a garden," Mary Baran of the Senior Achievement Coordinant which organized the garden project, said.
Lucille Harder, who lives at Smith Tower, said it was so much better for her to come out to the garden "instead of just to sit around and mope around in the apartment." Each of the men and women from either the Smith Tower or Van Vista Plaza who work regularly on the garden have their own plot where they raise what they want. There is also a community plot so those who come out only occasionally have a place to work.
The biggest problem they have is not being able to get water. "Our garden was beautiful until the sun came along and baked it," Mrs. Harder lamented.
Thy are proud and protective of their garden. Louella Thompson of Van Vista cautioned a flat-footed reporter, "Now donít stand on those little radish plants."
Since the plots produce much more than anyone of the workers can consume themselves, much of the produce of the garden is given away to the handicapped who canít come out and the low income renters who need the food.
"They taste so darn good when they come right out of the ground," Mrs. Harder said.
Mrs. Mclninch claims to be a farmer at heart and the variety of her garden gives some indication.
She has lettuce, carrots, chard, parsnips, wax beans, tomatoes, cabbage, beets, corn, blue lake beans ("we wanted the beans to climb around the corn but the beans grew faster than the corn"), five different kinds of squash and assorted flowers including sunflowers.
Transportation to the garden is provided by the Economic Opportunity Committeeís mini-bus. The land was donated and prepared for planting by Mrs. Kitty Ham.
(This article is reproduced with the generous permission of The Columbian.)