Friday, May 1, 2009

Hooray! A Community Garden is Born!

When Zak finished the vertical plant stand last evening we moved it to the front of the trailer. This morning I went out to paint the shelves he'd put on after I painted the shell the day before. Next door neighbours R and M were sitting out on R's deck chatting in the morning sun. One of the park managers, who I tease by calling Annabelle, was there too.

Once I finished my painting I took my brush over and offered make-overs to anyone who wanted a hard-wearing coat of paint. Not surprisingly none took me up on my offer, but we immediately fell to talking about gardening. It is the season.

I told them that Kent was going to let me use some of his site for a raised bed, and how pleased I was by that. R turned to Annabelle and asked, "Where else could we find for people to garden? How about that corner where Deb's been putting the tomatoes? The grass is terrible there. The roots won't let anything grow."

I've been putting my tomatoes out in the space that's sort of a no-man's land at our corner. Annabelle asked if that would be a good spot for a garden. Would it? It gets full sun early in the day, dappled sun mid-day and then full sun from about 3:00 until dark. It's right next to a hose outlet and is accessible to everyone. I think we ought to think about putting a picnic table in the shadiest spot so people can sit and visit as part of their gardening.

We all got up and walked over to survey the spot. It's roughly trapezoidal in shape, about 50 feet on its longest side, maybe 35 feet on the opposite side. The end near us is about 30 feet wide, the far end at the corner only ten feet wide. It wouldn't be the place for in-ground gardening because the willow and Mayday tree roots are an almost solid layer just under the soil, but it would hold a lot of containers.

So, the grass (and weeds) will be removed by covering the space with lumber wrap, a load of gravel will be put on top so it's clean underfoot, and park residents can then use the space to grow vegetables or flowers in containers.

No grass grows on this bunch. Art was busy cutting the grass back within 30 minutes, the lumber wrap will go in over the weekend and the gravel has been ordered!

A community garden is born. Now we have a place, it's just a case of letting people know! We will do that on Sunday.

And in the meantime I have work to do! Earthboxes, raised beds and a tomato ring to make. Also want to go buy some plants to put in the vertical planter. I'd like to be able to suggest what's possible with one anyway, though it won't reach full potential till mid-summer.

I love it when something green happens! Compost bins are suddenly appearing, and the park is building a large bin to take care of the tons of grass clippings and leaves generated every year. These have all been hauled to the landfill until now.

Off to think about Earthboxes now!

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