The little popsicle stick and 3×5 index card with our family name that’s stuck in the dirt says so. We are now the proud temporary owners of a community garden plot.
Last year we had grown cherry tomatoes in an earthbox (a self-watering container) on our front steps, but our new apartment has barely any sunshine, so unless we want to grow a lovely crop of moss and ferns – a community garden plot it is!
Luckily it’s located very near to where we live, so I can walk there with the twins as we explore the wonderful world of horticulture.
Even better, the person responsible for planning the garden informed me that the town is building a FENCED-IN PLAYGROUND there!!!! HUZZAH!!
(If you’ve ever had charge of a small child on a playground – you know the importance of a good fence in keeping kids from getting hit by cars. Our local Y, unfortunately, has a swiss-cheese of a fence – plenty of escape routes onto the street and parking lot.)
I’ve got big plans for our little plot of God’s Creation! Visions of my children happily and enthusiastically chowing down on piles of veggies that we’ve grown, me in a little calico apron happily canning preserves and pickled veggies for the hard, lean winter months…ok, so it’s not likely to happen that way, and yes, I occasionally have delusions of Little House on the Prairie, but all that aside, it’ll be good to get the girls outside and learning about helping things grow.
So far, we’re going to have the aforementioned cherry tomatoes, I’ve gotten some seeds for black ones! And some sweet peppers for my husband. My mother’s contributing a few poles of sugarsnap peas, a neighbor has generously offered us a pumpkin vine, and I’ve got a few pots of kitchen herbs.
Last Saturday, Zanna and I went over to stake our claim on our plot. We planted some sunflowers and a little clump of chives to get started with.
Zanna happily flitted from one plot to another, generously donating rocks to each one, making sure that no one was deprived of bugs, and helping to gather compost for one of the neighbors.
Halle was home with a cold, but as soon as the rainy weather ends, we’ll all be out there in full force to plant whatever hasn’t died off in our kitchen in the meantime. (Yes, my deep-dark secret’s been revealed at last – dum dum DUM! I have a black thumb!)
I’ve gotten the girls little trowels of their own, and little pink watering cans, and a magnifiying (plastic) glass so they can look at bugs and other things while we’re gardening.
It’ll be a great experience for all of us! I’ve even going to get a little tub of ladybugs! Real live ones! Hopefully they’ll keep away the aphids. The girls are after me to get a praying mantis, but that’s a bit beyond my comfort zone with insects.
If you don’t have a community garden in your area, but you know of land that’s been undeveloped and empty for awhile, then I urge you to get after your town council or the landowner to turn it into community garden plots. Even if they have plans to develop it “someday”, in the meantime it can be used for a garden until actual building permits are applied for – which could be years from now!
Which would be better for a community – weed and junk-strewn abandoned areas, or vibrant green attractive gardens – a meeting place for neighbors and a healthy community activity?
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