Garden Soxx Community Brunch
A group of residents and patients met at Bowdoin Street Health Center in November to discuss their participation in our new Garden Soxx program, funded by the Krupp Family Foundation. GardenSoxx is a portable container gardening system that can be used in place of traditional gardening in neighborhoods like Bowdoin Geneva where garden space or desirable soil conditions are often limited. One complete GardenSoxx system consists of eight 2’ X 8 “compost filled mesh bags that combine to form a 4’ X 4’ garden.
Gardeners cited that they grew a variety of produce including cherry tomatoes, peppers, beans, celery, cilantro, and lettuce. One participant proudly displayed a pair of egg plants that he had successfully grown. Mixed results were reported in regards to using the Garden Soxx containers as a growing medium. While some indicated that they had success using the Soxx to grow smaller, leafy vegetables like lettuce, others noted that they had difficulties using the Sox to grow heavier produce like tomatoes and cucumbers that required staking and more space.
The mesh containers had limited capacity to provide ample growing space and ideal soil conditions. One resident indicated that he was not able to fertilize tomatoes as he normally would because of the Soxx’ limited depth. Another participant cited that the smaller growing area and run off from rain were a few factors that contributed to the depletion of nutrients and biodiversity in the soil. The summer long drought and restrictions by homeowners to grow in desirable spaces were also limiting.
GardenSoxx participants expressed enthusiasm with their food growing experience and would like to explore additional opportunities in the future. Specifically, community gardens were introduced as potentially ideal growing spaces where residents can take advantage of larger plots of land, additional resources and support to help them grow fresh food for themselves and their families.