Alas, the lease on the building has run out, and the Arroyo Food Co-op is moving on. So what of the garden?
It’s spring, a time of renewal.
And so, Sylvia reached out to Lamar Anderson, the president of the garden leadership council at Villa Verde Rooftop Garden at Villa-Parke, and asked him to visit and survey the garden. He agreed to relocate the trees and plants to the park garden plots, and recruited volunteers for the challenging eight-block move.
There was a fond farewell gathering for Free-Food Garden fans to meet, express themselves with chalk drawings on the pavement, and exchange food from their home gardens, and share memories of the good times at the Garden.
Sylvia briefed the Villa Verde team on how to transplant the trees. They dug out the Pixie Mandarin and Fuyu Persimmon, wrapped each root ball in a tarp, and settled the trees into a pickup truck. Team member Alicia comforted the trees en route to the Villa Verde Rooftop plots, where again free food will be available just as it was at the Free-Food Garden. When Sylvia brought worm castings for the plants in their new beds, she said she felt like she was visiting a family member in the hospital or adjusting to her children’s leaving home.
As for the native plants, since it is not the right season to plant natives, Roger Klemm, founder of Sunland Welcome Nature Garden who originally provided the natives, will take cuttings and propagate a new generation for the Rooftop garden.
Kudos to Sylvia Holmes for imagining and creating a warm and welcoming place, the Free-Food Garden, to bring people together in Pasadena, and for making sure that the legacy of this garden continues on! Be sure to visit the plants after they have settled in at their new home at Villa-Parke!
— Lin Griffith & Qrys Cunningham