Have you ever eaten a clover, the purple clovers? They’re really good. If you get them at the right time they have a sweetness, like a honey. I remember my grandfather telling me, “Oh it’s a weed, but it’s an edible weed”…
Tiza grew up working the land with her grandfather. Her earliest memories of gardening are with him on his land. She remembers fondly his desire to teach her new things and introduce her to new foods. The fondness of this memory is part of what lead her to reintroduce gardening into her life. Tiza learned about the Growing Gardens program through an acquaintance at her son's school.
I contacted and filled out an application. I figured, what are the chances of me getting something like that, but I did.
With Growing Garden's help, Tiza started a garden of her own. Now, she spends time in the garden with her younger sons. She sees the garden as a new way to spend quality time with her family. She has noticed the garden providing a new way to connect with both her family and neighbors.
It was nice to go out there and have that time and be able to do something together away from electronics, away from distractions...
If the harvest is anything like last year, she anticipates having an abundance of produce to share with the people in her life. In the past, she's been able to collaborate with her neighbors.
It just gives us one more thing to talk about...like, hey what are you doing this year... you can grow this and I can grow that...
With her newfound garden, Tiza has cultivated a growing reverence for fresh food. She mentions that it has changed the way she approaches food. Having her own garden means being able to try a variety of produce and new recipes, too.
It's kinda exciting... growing and the possibilities, trying different things, but I think the biggest thing for me is just the flavor and the look of food...
She has noticed an improvement in her overall health since she's been spending time in the garden. She is looking forward to spending less money at the grocery store and utilizing the fresh produce at her house.
I kinda dread the winter 'cause I have to go back to buying... When planting season comes around, I kinda get excited and I drive everybody nuts.
This year, Tiza is giving a variety of new herbs a try in her front yard. Among other things, she has planted a few different types of tomatoes, squash, and her strawberries are already thriving. She is hoping for a bountiful growing season.
Interview by Tia Bangura, Matt Parrish & Jenessa VanZutphen