Two friends, one garden plot: families from Russia and Ukraine grow together in Orem, Utah
This is the third in a four-part series of articles about a local community garden and how people from around the globe met and learned each other’s stories while working the soil.
By Laura Giles
Oct 7, 2016
At the garden this summer, Katya enjoyed having the opportunity to visit with Russian and Ukrainian friends while they all worked in their plots. They also helped each other if one was away on vacation or could not make it to the garden that day.
“Growing plants is the same as growing kids – lots of hard work,” Katya said. “It was interesting to see the people from different countries and what they grew,” she said about the community garden. “The whole season here is very dry. We have to water almost every day. In Russia, we only have to water maybe twice a week at most,” she said.
Ten years ago, Maryna Akhtyrska moved to Orem from Ukraine with her family. She and her husband thought they would try it for three years while he worked here, then they returned to Ukraine.
But, Maryna said, “It felt too risky. It felt strange.” When the war broke out in Ukraine, she said they decided to come back. “We decided to raise our kids here, rather than in unstable territory,” she said.