I met our friend Susie to pick green and white beans, in a community garden a couple miles north of Mill Creek in Slavic Village. Our vacationing Mill Creek friends and neighbors have a couple of plots there and asked me to harvest whatever I could while they're away, in Russia. Susie and I filled half of a cloth grocery bag in no time. Susie took her share leaving me still with more beans than I know what to do with.
The fenced-in and locked garden, consisting of a dozen or so small plots of about 120 square feet each, is across from a neatly kept Barkwill Community Park near East 55th and Broadway. Garden and park are a small oasis in one of the most impoverished areas of Cleveland, where empty, boarded-up homes stand in testimony to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and current economic crisis.