On a windy Thursday afternoon, Frisco resident Zainab Siddiqi grabbed a garden hose and approached a wooden box.
The box in question is dotted with radishes, bok choy, carrots, garlic and cilantro, all grown from seeds by a group from the Islamic Center of Frisco. Nestled in a spot between The Grove at Frisco Commons and the playground, the box is one of multiple that stand at various heights containing various plants, all serving a larger community purpose.
“We saw it on the mayor’s social media that they were doing this project, and we wanted to put our share in,” Siddiqi said.
The group’s box is one of multiple that make up The Harvest at Frisco Commons, a community garden that allows residents to use leased boxes and city tools to grow food, some of which will go to a local cause.
The city held a ribbon cutting for the garden in late October, and since then, about 70% of the 88 boxes have been filled by both residents and organizations. Today, leafy plants, vegetables, flowers--and in one case a Dallas Cowboys garden flag--dot the garden.
Molly Kinson, education and outreach supervisor with the city’s Natural Resources department, said there are smaller box spaces for individuals and households while larger ones are open to organizations.
Gardeners are encouraged to donate surplus produce to Frisco Family Services, which supports local families in need.
“One of the most beautiful things about nature and vegetable gardening is there’s almost always a more bountiful harvest than what you need, like one family, one individual,” she said, “and so basically what we’re trying to do is help to feed the people in Frisco, the families that don’t have enough to eat.”
In fact, Kinson said as part of the lease agreement, gardeners agree to harvest regularly to prevent vegetables from spoiling on the vine
“That way we’ll make sure that that surplus makes it to someone who needs it,” she said.
Kinson said she’s had both people with green thumbs and people who say they “kill everything they touch” approach her about the garden. For those looking for guidance, Kinson said the Natural Resources Division wants to provide regular workshops from local organizations.
She also encourages participants to get to know their “box neighbors,” who she said could help each other with watering or provide advice. She mentions one pairing that includes a resident who says they have a “brown thumb” and another who has been gardening for 20 years.
“So it’s nice that they’re right next to each other. And that’s what I just love about the community garden,” Kinson said. “It’s learning, it’s helping and supporting one another.”