So we pulled up our grass and replaced it with drought-tolerant herbs—rosemary, oregano, thyme, and mint—reserving 14 feet of this strip of open land for a vegetable garden meant for the whole neighborhood. Everybody around Riverbend Commons got involved—yanking out the grass one shovelful at a time, wheeling it back to the compost, sifting out stones, and building the box for the vegetables. It took several weeks for us all to get this done. And the neighborhood watched.
When we pulled up with a heaping truckload of soil, our next-door neighbor walked over and helped us fill the box and spread the soil into the corners. Contact. We gathered around it when it was finished and prayed. We prayed for the neighborhood, we prayed the food and for us all. Then we put a sign in the ground: "Neighborhood Garden" (and a second sign inviting neighbors to help plant seeds that Mother's Day weekend).