A unique and viable approach to establishing local food self-reliance and building stronger communities.

Letters of Support

These letters of support have come to us from volunteers as well as other supporters in our community. 

Warren and Laurie Halsey – December 18, 2010
Llyn and Chris,
Before we celebrate the return of the sun, we wanted you both to know that we think your contribution to the Alpine community through the Sharing Garden is fabulous!  Not only does it provide healthful food, it also provides a venue for cooperative sharing and a visibly joyful and productive focus for the Alpine community.  We have not participated physically, but we greatly enjoy receiving your e-mail communications which are informative, colorful and lively.  We have also appreciated knowing that through the garden many individuals are receiving benefits in the form of food, friendship and service.

Congratulations on your outstanding service!  Our kindest wishes for the New Year.

Warren and Laurie Halsey

Cindy Kitchen – November 2010
Jim Kitchen and Norma picking beans

Dear Chris and Llyn

I would like to thank you for all the time, attention, and advice you have given me as I attempt to come up with the best fitting gardening style for the community garden we are establishing at my church.  I have visited a number of different gardens throughout the county, ranging from those that rent individual plots to those that donate all produce to a philanthropic organization, and have gleaned information from each of them.  However, I have learned the most working with you and within the “Sharing Gardens” that you oversee.

You have both been so willing to discuss and brainstorm ways of handling the day-to-day and practical needs of overseeing a garden, of maintaining positive relationships, and of how to most wisely use the time of those that are participating in the garden. I have enjoyed watching you teach and interact with both children and adults in the garden, revealing new things each time they show up.  It has been exciting to see the immense satisfaction your entire garden crew has when it puts out hundreds of pounds of produce for the Food Bank, and that being the excess over what the individual workers have set aside to take home. It is very apparent that working in the garden has knit their hearts together and that friendships have developed. They freely share with one another the things they have learned and that you have taught them.  On top of that they are receiving health benefits too-fresh air, exercise, and organic produce at no cost other than labor.

I have been very impressed at the way the Sharing Gardens operates.  I am not sure what we will end up with at our garden-but my recommendation will be some variation of what you have.  I really appreciate the mentoring you have been providing to me; both the friendship and the information are invaluable.  

Thank you again, Cindy Kitchen

Bruce Hayler—November 2010
Bruce with his sombrero!

I always look forward to and enjoy working with Llyn, Chris and the other volunteers in the Sharing Gardens. We are doing good, honest and healthy work producing much needed food. Food that is fresh and nutritious for people in need of it. Not only is food being grown, but a sense of community is being established. People are being shown how to recapture basic, down to earth skills that have been forgotten and lost. The present economy and the emphasis on going green make these skills more vital than ever.

It would be hard to find anyone with a better attitude and skill set to make the Sharing Gardens a success than Llyn and Chris. They always strive to give the volunteers and the recipients a healthy experience for both their bodies and minds.


Cindy Canter -- November 2010
Cindy with an onion harvest.

Dear Llyn and Chris,
I can’t begin to thank you for everything you have taught me about gardening. I don’t how I came so far in my life without ever growing my own food.  I have always grown a tomato plant or two, but never enough to actually plan meals around. I have learned to plant, fertilize, weed and harvest things I never even thought about growing.
There’s more, you have shown me ways to plan ahead for my future meals. I now CAN and FREEZE these beautiful jewels. I will have good wholesome food throughout the winter!! I am so excited!!  I feel so happy to do this. I feel better about WHAT I am eating.
I recently watched a program on TV called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Jamie came to America and singled out one county. His goal was to teach the children and adults how to eat healthy. He did this through the school lunch rooms and in some homes.  Jamie showed everyone how to cook healthy whole foods.  Americans were not happy about this, they didn’t want to change. After a few weeks some of the kids started losing weight. The adults began to enjoy the food and families started cooking together. What I am trying to get at is YOU BOTH are MY Jamie Oliver! 
I will continue to eat and grow my own chemical and pesticide free food. I love it! I am looking forward to our next round in the garden.
Very Thankfully Yours,
PS I have already begun the spreading my knowledge, I am teaching my daughter, nieces and nephew how to make dinners from fresh veggies and they love playing in the kitchen with me. (Full Circle)

Danielle Walker – November 2010
Danielle, weeding.

Here are some of my thoughts regarding the garden:
1. How did you hear about the "Sharing Gardens"?- I saw a flier on the board at the post office in Monroe
2. What was your favorite aspect? I thoroughly enjoyed meeting members of the community, and knowing that I was helping others while getting the benefit of being outside. I also enjoyed having fresh yummy produce, and knowing where it came from.
3. Did you make new friends?- I would say so! I have a new little group of gardening friends, and its nice to go places around town and see familiar faces.
4. What would you like to learn more about?- I learned so much about planting, maintenance, composting and other gardening topics. I think simply spending more time at the garden would produce more learning, but if I had to pick one thing to learn more about, it would be starting things from seed. I don't know much about it, and then get overwhelmed about thinning and transplanting.
5. Is there something you wish we'd grown more of?- Corn and sunflowers. Now to just keep those birds away. Or, help them realize what  a "sharing" garden is. haha
9. As a volunteer, was the experience what you expected? -I had no idea what to expect when I started, so I guess it was what I expected. I thought I'd be put to work, doing various tasks, and I was. ;) I thought whatever was asked of me was always within reason, and was always asked in a very courteous and kind manner. I also think that the reassurance by Chris and Llyn to do what felt good, and don't do too much if not possible. It felt very low-pressure and welcoming.

Judy Todd – November 2010  

I feel more and more drawn to engaging others in thinking about and acting on what I believe are the day-to-day 'transformations' we must undertake now. You two are, of course, acting in concert with that by the love and labors you are choosing in your Monroe community. I am thankful you are doing such vital work and that others are benefiting! Lovely!!

Judy Todd, Consultant & Coach for Leaders

Ismael Ramos - November 2010
Smiling Ismael!

What was your favorite part about the Sharing Gardens?

All the wildlife, the smiles, the laughter, happiness. Helping families with food.

Why did you volunteer at the Sharing Gardens?

Because I love helping people. I love being part of the community. I like meeting new friends.

What are some things you learned at the Sharing Gardens?

I learned how to plant plants, water them, harvest them, save seeds; how to make compost and…can’t forget—sharing them.

Can you say what you appreciated about Chris and Llyn?

Everything. It was like my mom and dad teaching me how to take my first baby steps and how to say words like “mom” or “dad”.

Norma Elia –November 2010
Norma in the bean patch.
Yesterday, on a drive,  I saw a rainbow.  At the end closest to me I could see a stand of aspen trees filtered through all its colors.  I had never witnessed a rainbow so close. It was beautiful!  At that wonderful moment, I was reminded of the myth of the "pot of gold" at the end of a rainbow. Llyn and Chris, I thought of you, and the "Sharing Gardens" .  This project has brought that "pot of gold", to our small community. 

You have given people an opportunity to commune with one another and with our precious "mother", the Earth.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.  I would like to encourage you and all who have contributed to this "pot of gold" to continue participating in this project as it nourishes both the Earth and ourselves.

Sincerely, Norma Elia
Bruce Hayler—August 2010
Chris and Bruce on a garden break.

"Thanks! It's a great thing the two of you have started here.
I look forward to the camaraderie and friendship that is developing amongst all of us at the same time that we are enjoying useful endeavors."

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