Mamie’s Backyard Garden grows veggies for neighbors

By Emily Shetler, The Capital Times

It was a sunny weekend afternoon on Diane Small’s shaded lawn. As her friends and family chatted and ate piles of brats, chili, snacks and cake, ‘90s hip-hop played in the background. Small called out to people in the crowd, making sure everyone was fed, offering extra helpings. Mylar balloons wafted in the breeze. Kids chased each other around the garden.


June 13 marked the grand opening of a new community garden in Waunona on Lake Point Drive, created with the help of a $1,500 SEED grant from the City of Madison. Small’s plot is large enough to provide vegetables for up to 100 people, with plans for distribution through local community organizations.


During the celebration, dozens gathered around Mamie’s Backyard Garden, named in honor of Small’s mother. Small set up games, like a bean bag toss and hula hoop, as well as chess and checkers. On the fence hung a wall of posters of photographs from her life. June 13 was also Small’s 65th birthday. Read more …