Garden of Joy for Sierra Garden Recipient Tia Thompson


Tia Thompson is one of the many Sierra Garden recipients who got some help from Sierra Harvest to grow food for her family. Here is what she had to say about her experience:

SH: Why did you want a Sierra Garden?

TT: My fiancé and I are both disabled. My fiancé is a war veteran and he has a prosthetic leg, so it’s hard for him to help with the garden. A friend noticed that we needed help and suggested we contact Sierra Harvest. The biggest challenge was starting everything up and building a place for the animals. We have four pigs (We are raising our own meat) and 100 different birds: guineas, ducks, chickens, geese and managing all of these animals takes a lot of time and work.

SH: What did Sierra Harvest do for you?

TT: They helped expand the garden: It was 30’ x 20’ and now it’s 100’ x 100’. Sierra Harvest provided lots of vegetables, and a better variety of tomato plants. They brought extra topsoil and posts for the fencing. They used a broad fork to help loosen the soil and planted starts with us. Farmer Edy answered questions about where to plant things and when to grow them and provided me with a lot of veggie starts which is great since we don’t have a greenhouse yet. Everyone from Sierra Harvest is just amazing. I had a really good experience working with their staff and their wonderful volunteers.

SH: How are you eating differently?

TT: We’re growing different things now that do well in the Foothills climate so we’re eating better. Fennel is something that I never ate before. Different kinds of kale, broccoli, cabbage — these are things I don’t normally eat, but they’re really good when they come from your own garden.

SH: What is your favorite thing that has come out of the garden so far?

TT: Napa lettuce. It’s like the Napa cabbage, but it’s lettuce. It’s kind of in between a cabbage and a lettuce. This garden is my joy. I’m physically disabled and this helps me cope with whatever I’m going through and now I can feed my family right from our backyard.

The Union also talked to Tia about her garden — read that story here.