An interview with faithful Mission Volunteer, Sarah Hartland.
Sarah is the founder of our aptly named, Sarah’s Garden, an organic garden on The Mission’s campus.
1. How did you learn about The Mission of Yahweh?
My family has been involved with the mission for several years, but my sister, Monica Hartland Blaisdell, is who introduced us all to The Mission.
2. How long have you been involved with The Mission?
I have been involved since 2010 and started the vegetable garden in the Spring of 2012.
3. What led you to start an organic vegetable garden?
I was talking with Monica about what donations The Mission needed. She responded that they get plenty of nonperishable food donations but they have trouble getting good, fresh vegetables. We wanted to find a way not only to provide organic veggies and herbs but also promote a healthy lifestyle and environment. Hence, the vegetable garden was born!
4. What is the size of the garden?
The garden is about 850 square feet of vegetable growth. We also have eight large planters where we grow various herbs and spices.
5. Where did you learn how to garden?
I started learning by taking some basic garden classes with Urban Harvest. Also, I attended the monthly meeting held by Houston Urban Gardeners. Both great organizations!
I often stop by Wabash Feed Store and ask the expert gardeners there for advice or ask for a solution to whatever garden dilemma I am having. They are always so nice and super helpful!
The Houston Garden Book by Bob Randall is an in depth book about gardening specific to Houston. I found that helpful as well.
6. Where is your go to place for supplies and advice?
Without a doubt it’s Wabash Feed Store for both supplies and advice.
7. What are you planting for this spring/summer season?
We planted cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, squash, spinach, tomatoes, jalapeños, basil, mint, and rosemary. Yum!
8. What is your personal favorite summer vegetable/herb?
I really like cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. They are light and refreshing, perfect for those hot, Houston summers.
9. How does it make you feel watching the garden grow and produce more each year?
I honestly am so amazed that so much food can come from one tiny little seed. I feel blessed that I get to witness this amazing miracle every time I visit the garden.
10. What has been the reaction from the residents and the children?
Initially, the majority of the women and children were not especially knowledgeable about vegetable gardens, so it took a little while for them to open up to this unfamiliar concept. But now everybody is excited and enthusiastic about learning and helping out with it! It’s especially wonderful to watch the children’s initial curiosity about the plants, and then watch how their faces light up as they see the progress of the seeds growing into plants and then the plants producing vegetables.
11. What do the residents and children enjoy the most about the garden vegetables?