Friday, May 13, 2011
Radishes and the SWAT team!
Yes, you got that right, the SWAT team! We had an interesting day picking our first harvest at the Boone Street community garden and urban farm!
Here I am with our first vegetable harvest of white and red radishes. That's Lolita, one of the neighbors and frequent garden visitor standing next to me. (You can also see her standing behind me on Day One of the garden! See top photo.)
So there we were, giddily snapping pictures of the radishes on Cheryl's cell phone. Immediately after this picture was taken, I turned my head...
And saw people running towards us with automatic weapons and full SWAT gear!
We ducked down next to Cheryl's car (you can see it in the background of the photo), and realized that police were waving us out of the area. The house right next to our row of radishes was being busted, and we had to run down the block past the police blockade!
I still don't really know what happened or if anyone was arrested or anything.
Luckily there was no altercation, and things were resolved without incident. The police went into the house, but since we were facing the back, we couldn't really see if anyone was taken out of the front. People were talking to the police, but things were quiet.
Cheryl and I just stood around outside of the police blockade with the rest of the neighbors, watching things. It was actually a good way to meet other people in the neighborhood!
The funny thing was, people were almost as curious and excited about the radishes as they were about the SWAT team. A lot of people didn't even know there were white radishes, and they were excited to hear that things were actually growing in the formerly abandoned lot.
At first I was really regretting that I didn't have my camera with me, but then I realized the police probably wouldn't have been to keen on me snapping pics of the raid. So at least we've got a photo of just before!
After everything calmed down, we went to our friend Dale Hargrave's garden to rent his tiller. You can see photos of his chicken coop and his tilled rows in Greenmount West here.
Dale has been gardening for almost 20 years in Baltimore City, and he's got peach trees, grapevines, roses, mint, vegetables, and more. Growing fruit really requires an investment of years, so it's a pleasure to tour a garden like that. He had a good laugh when we told him why we were delayed in coming to pick up the tiller!
So, we weren't able to get too much weeding and seeding done in the garden, but at least we've got a great first harvest story for the Boone Street Garden!
You can see the red radishes better in this photo, although we caught Lolita mid-blink:
Posted by AlizaEss