Shuyao has been a member of the Danny Woo Community Garden since 2011 when she began growing alongside her husband. Amidst her plot that overlooks Beacon Hill you'll find chives, tomatoes, leafy greens, and squash. Prior to immigrating to the US in 1988, Shuyao spent over 5 decades in Beijing working in corporate communications. Although she'd never had her own edible growing space before joining the Danny Woo Community Garden, she has fond memories of spending time on her grandparent's farm in China. Nowadays, you can find Shuyao generously sharing vegetables and water with passersby who are in need. Shuyao's giving heart extends beyond the garden and into her volunteer work with the Foster Grandparents Program.
In recent years, Shuyao's husband's battle with cancer has prevented him from visiting the garden as frequently as he used to. But when he is able to garden alongside his wife the sunshine and fresh air bring him so much joy. Shuyao often walks to the garden from her home--a 2 or 3 mile jaunt--and she loves being able to share what she grows. "Sharing makes me healthy and long days in the sunshine gives me health." Nevertheless, as Shuyao makes her way through her mid-seventies she can sometimes find challenges with gardening on the terrace. Luckily, neighboring gardeners are always willing to lend a hand when her back refuses to cooperate.
Thank you for sharing your story (and your delicious chives) with us, Shuyao!
Stay tuned for more Tales from the Terrace.
This story was transcribed from an interview between the elder gardener and a staff member from the Danny Woo Community Garden. Verbal consent to share the above information was obtained before publishing the post.
The Danny Woo Community Garden is a 1.5 acre edible growing space located in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown/International District. The garden has been a place for elders to grow for over 40 years and is also home to a children's garden, chicken coop, and outdoor kitchen. Visit us at 620 S. Main St., Seattle, WA 98104.