Introducing Maxine, a life-time gardener and first-time plotter at The North Grove’s garden plots. Maxine has the warmest energy as she weeds the farm’s asparagus patch, having already tended to her beautiful garden box that bursts with green onions, spinach, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, beets, and basil. She speaks passionately about how powerful it is for her mind and body to plant a seed and see it grow into something that she can enjoy and share with her community.
"It lights up my life."
As the 4th eldest of 14 siblings, Maxine grew up taking care of the younger kids and growing veggies in her family’s garden. She’s had a green thumb all her life and now her youngest grandchild (age 11) loves to garden with her too.
After moving from her house to an apartment two years ago Maxine has really missed digging in the dirt. “It’s been very rewarding to have the space to garden again.” Maxine missed gardening so much that she would take care of her friends' gardens when they were out of town and one time she even pulled over to weed a church’s garden as a random act of guerilla gardening kindness!
Maxine was so excited when a friend told her about the garden plots at The North Grove because it meant she could grow beyond her apartment’s balcony garden.
“It lights up my life” she says. And Maxine’s gardening also lights up the lives of many others; she shares her harvest and homemade preserves with family, friends and elderly neighbours in her building.
During the recent lockdown Maxine was at the Community Farm nearly every day, doing acts of generosity at every turn. If another gardener’s plot is a little too dry, she waters it, if she sees the rhubarb patch is getting overrun with weeds, she weeds it, if there are herbs to package up for the farm stall, she’s bagging them. Maxine just started gardening on the Community Farm, but she is already signed up to volunteer and can’t wait to get more involved at The North Grove. “I hear people walking through all the time talking about how great this place is.”
As a retiree, Maxine used to spend her time in seniors' groups before the pandemic. Having a COVID-safe activity that allows her to connect with other Community Gardeners has been a joy. Even though Maxine has gardened her entire life, being able to talk with other gardeners has expanded her knowledge of plants, tools and techniques. “I’m learning a lot here.” Maxine brings so much joy, care, and hard work to the Community Farm while she continues to grow as a gardener herself.
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