You can't keep Alexandra Castenada out of the garden.
"I like it, but my husband does not,” she said. “He's like, ‘Oh, no no no.’"
Castenada is part of the Festival Beach community garden, one of the biggest in town. It's run entirely by the neighborhood but it's on public land.
The community garden program started in 2009 and there are almost 30 around town. The program has worked so well, the city can't start them fast enough.
"It's something that has really crossed a lot of boundaries because everyone loves to eat here in Austin," said Meredith Gray, the community garden coordinator.
Gray runs the program. She says there are eight parks on a wait list because the process for starting a garden takes more than a year.
"Ideally we would like to get it under six months,” Gray said. “We are really trying to work on that process. There are some gardens have been taking up to two years even."
The process is drawn out, but the city and neighborhoods love turning empty park space into something with value.
"We see it as just another amenity that citizens can recreate on," Gray said.
"You get to know other people and other neighbors and people that you generally wouldn't normally associate with, so it just makes it like a neighborhood," Castenada said.
Festival Beach neighbors donate much of the food they grow to the needy. It's turned an empty park by the lake into a community center.
"It's a lovely area,” Castenada said. “See, we always have a breeze, it's right by the water and it's a nice place to garden and develop friendships with people that have similar interests."
The city hopes to have a community garden within one mile of every person in Austin.
If you want to find out more about the program go to communitygardenaustin.org.