Michael Large practiced as a permaculture gardener on the Haultain Common for almost two years, before co-founding the Fair Field, a boulevard garden near Fairfield and Cook. To different degrees, he helps maintain three boulevard gardens in town, the Fair Field, the Haultain Annex and the Haultain Common. He also created and administers “Street Greens”, a website dedicated to boulevard gardening in the City of Gardens.
* How do you use Spring Ridge Commons?
As a source of inspiration.
* What does Spring Ridge Commons bring to you?
An example of how a barren urban space can be transformed into a positive force for sustainability, community, and food security.
* What would be lost if it were not here?
Food for bees and people; a learning lab for novice gardeners; a green space for calm reflection.
* What are your concerns about Spring Ridge Commons?
People are diverse. No two gardeners, handed a basket of plants or suite of seeds, will use them in quite the same way. Likewise, no two neighbours will share precisely the same vision for a community garden space. So it can be difficult to bring people together, and keep them united in the long-run. It’s difficult, but worth the effort, I think.
* Imagine five years into the future. In your ideal future, what would be the same and what would be different about Spring Ridge Commons?
Same: the Common will still exist, and the plants and trees will be more mature than today (and hence, they will need less maintenance, and ideally, fewer disagreements regarding maintenance will arise).
Different: the community learns to embrace the Common, even if it isn’t precisely consistent with what they imagine a traditional garden should look like.