I come from Lynn, a “small” bustling city with little to no area where a person can grow something. I say “small” because it is a mere 10.8 square miles wide, yet it has a population of 94,000 people. This causes there to be absolutely no room for a traditional farm. In fact, most people live in very cramped apartments or multi families that have no backyard. No one in the city has taken to farming because of this, so I grew up knowing nothing about agriculture. In fact, I didn’t even know pickles were cucumbers until this class enlightened me. If you asked my friends to name any type of crop besides the most common ones the answer will be I don’t know dude.
My father attempted to start a garden for a very long time, but the quite literal fruits of his labor were never too grand. The only fruits and vegetables he was able to successfully grow in my rocky, full of dead grass backyard were very small, often not quite ripe tomatoes and these strange tiny cucumbers. The only reason he was able to successfully garden was because he placed good soil he purchased into a crevice of a rock in our backyard that was a few feet deep. This was our garden, about maybe ten inches of prime gardening turf. Anything grown anywhere else in my house would immediately wilt and die like even the plants didn’t like the natural lynn soil.
At the edge of my property is the power lines, a long, not too wide strip of basically bare wilderness with trees that all look like they are close to death. In the back left of my house is a massive grey rock covered with moss, that has a flat top where one can sit. Behind this hiding spot, is a hidden gem. There are about three different wild blueberry shrubs where we can pick blueberries when they bloom in the summer. They explode with flavor into your mouth, and are extremely juicy. It’s strange in such a barren land these grow with such excellence. They are by far the highlight of the summertime, and they let us know summer is in full swing.
I’m lucky to have a small area where I can grow-most of the members of my community do not have this blessing. They would have to follow in Novella’s footsteps and become urban farmers, but in Massachusetts the growing season is drastically reduced due to the weather. Only hardy plants can survive here, unless they are summer harvesting plants. It makes it harder here, but people should still enjoy the simple, rewarding joys of gardening.