Tag Archives: community garden

Quinceanera for the Garden

The community garden is celebrating 15 years of serving members and the food pantry.

We are planning a party and want you to save the date! September 29, 2018.

veggie faces

Silly Grandma Sophie

There is a large Ash tree at the community garden.  Estimated age is over 100 years old.  That’s a long time ago.  This tree has seen a lot and survived.

I had the opportunity to take a baby, volunteer, trash tree that is an Ash from the garden.  I’ve planted it in my back yard.  It is about knee high.  I wasn’t sure if it would take for my soil is red clay and very compacted.  But after the current leaves shriveled and a bunch of rain, there are new leaves!  I’m so excited.

So is Sophie, she’s turning 6 this year.  She’s under 3 feet tall but she towers over the tree.  I told her mother that one day in the future, when the tree is grown and we are gone, Sophie will be able to tell her grandchildren, “I remember when I was taller than this tree.”

Her grandchildren will think she is silly for when was she ever taller than 10 feet tall?

It is a bitter sweet thing to plant a tree.  I hope this one gets to be as old as it’s parent.  But I do know that developers and planners like to tear everything in their path and start from scratch.  So the odds aren’t really in favor of the tree.  But the one at the community garden is in a good spot and has been able to grow and flourish.  I want that for this little tree as well.

And maybe Sophie will one day be able to tell her grandchildren she remembers a time when she was taller than a tree.

Nuclear Threat and the Community Garden

For as long as I can remember, we’ve been worried about nuclear threat from ‘them’.  Then the cold war ended and that was supposed to be that.  But it isn’t really.  I caught a headline the other day. Something about a nuclear threat and someone being happy about it.

I thought it was strange to have the word happy in the same sentence as nuclear threat.  Then I thought, “Well, if you are going to set off your bombs go ahead. But be sure to blow the whole Earth up. Do do a half-assed job.”

Stupid people.  Don’t you know that your side of the world is ATTACHED to our side of the world?  Even if you don’t blow the whole world up, the wind and the currents of the oceans will bring fall out to your side.

And then I went to the community garden and forgot all about the threat.  There is new life all over the place, plants, animals, birds. And I pray the things I do to better the garden will be carried by the wind and the currents of the oceans to your side of the world and give you a better day than you are having.

Loving My Neighbor

We ask ourselves at the garden how we can reach those who live closest to us.  Some we know, it’s as easy as talking over the chain link fence next door.  Others will stop and talk to us as they pass through on their way to the bus stop.

However, there are some, and we don’t know how close/far  they live from the garden, they have been taking things.

Since I started coming to the garden the following things have been missing:

Fencing for the back area – when this gets replaced, we’ll be ready for bee hives again

Wheel barrows – this makes carrying loads lighter.  With these gone, not as much can get done.

Plants donated for the plant sale – this fundraiser pays for the waterbill.

All the figs from the trees! – we would have shared with you  and would love to get to know you but did you have to take all of them? We were planning on making jam. We’d love for you to have some of that as well.

Dirt for the latest community garden project – we have targeted neighbors of the gardeners that can’t make it to the garden to build raised beds at their homes. Now we have to decide who has to wait.

But now you know what you have done, how will your tell-tale heart let you come and be part of our community now?

And I tell you now that it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past. We’d still love to meet you, have a cup of tea (or coffee) and truly be neighbors.

My prayer is for all the things that have gone from the garden with and without our knowledge/awareness/permission will come back 100 fold.  May all that flows from this garden bless whoever have crossed our path and bring them to us for relationship, renewal and redemption.

A Pavilion of Possibilities

I am reading the book –  Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamond Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.

I listened to Benjamin’s Ted talk and wanted to know more.

I like that it is an easy read but it goes deep.  Each chapter gives a different way of looking at things, at life.

It made me think of the Pavilion at the garden.  At first glance it may not look like much.  But you may be seeing it on a day when no one is around.  Like in the picture.

But I have done the following at the pavilion:

  • sorted vegetables for the food pantry
  • harvested seed from the garden
  • eaten grilled hot dogs and freshly made ice cream
  • watched kids hit a pinata
  • performed camp songs for refugees
  • hung out with my Gpa
  • drank lemonade at 10 p.m. with fellow gardeners
  • juggled and showed others how
  • Played the violin and attracted a Mockingbird.  (I told it not to learn the song I was playing because I was still a bit off)
  • watched a hummingbird visit the Turk’s Cap
  • bought spring transplants
  • participated in a blessing of the garden service
  • got to know some great people better

I’m looking forward to what else I’ll be doing at the pavilion.

Community Garden Pavilion

Community Garden Pavilion

 

 

Zinnias

Before I joined the community garden,  I didn’t give zinnias much thought.  They are nice to look at and come in many different colors.  Well that’s what I knew about them.

What I’ve learned is they attract the beneficials.  The beneficials will come because of the zinnias and then stick around to pollinate the vegetables.

I’ve also learned that the more you cut the blooms, the more they will bloom.  So during zinnia season, my house is filled with them.  I even planted some in my backyard garden.  Saturday I took a good look at them and it looks like there’s little flowers in the middle of the flower.  Quite a lovely surprise.

 

zinia

a flower within a flower

A Benefit of Community Gardening

Even though this is my third year at the community garden,  I still consider myself a beginner.   I still think I’m not up to the task of tending a 10×20 plot and the amount of grass that is growing in it points to the correctness of my thinking.

However, I am learning by leaps and bounds.  Not only am I gaining a great deal of hands on experience, I am also learning from what the other gardeners are doing.   I found out that a couple of people planted artichokes this year.

Artichokes!

I love artichokes!  My kids love artichokes. Though I only buy them when they are in season.    And the season doesn’t last long enough to get our fill.

I would have never guessed that they could be grown locally.  Maybe there will be one or two growing in my plot next year.

Well just like anything else, you have to tend to it.  If you don’t harvest, the plant will flower / go to seed.

And I would have to say that the artichoke flower is a very nice addition to the garden indeed.

Do you have a favorite vegetable flower?

Artichoke flower

Artichoke flower

 

 

Spring Time Garden

It was about this time a couple of years ago that I found the community garden.  It is very good to dig in the dirt and watch the plants spring up and grow into food or flowers.  Gives me hope.

I’ve been in a mood lately.  It’s hard searching for a job, going for interviews and then not getting anything!  I’ve applied to jobs I am qualified and ones that are entry level.  Nope, still looking.  Though I have gotten a couple of temporary assignments.

I haven’t spent much time pondering on the mood.  Just been letting it sit there, brooding in the background as I do what I do each day.

But during the plant sale at the garden which coincided with preparing the church for Easter.  I took some time to look at the mood, the things I’ve been focused on and what I can do to move forward.

I feel like a seed that has been given water and sunshine and yet is fighting the resulting change and growth.  A plant doesn’t look anything like a seed.  In fact in many cases, the seed has to split in half and let the seedling sprout up through the middle.  Talk about growing pains.

So as I dig in the garden, and tend the new plants, I’ve been looking at what I like to do best and how I might be able to translate that in to a source of income.  I’ll keep you posted on what I figure out.

Rain for the Garden

The thing we pray for the most for the garden is rain, a gentle soaking rain.

The weather man has been promising all week, ‘We might get some.”

And we did!  Last night, all night.  It has stopped and it is nice and cool outside.

The hens are happily checking out the yard and all the bugs that have come out from hiding.

This is so good as the seed have started sprouting and the water will give them a boost.   I am so glad I got the plots planted and mulched.  I can’t wait to see how tall the buck wheat has gotten.

The hardest part for me at this time of the season is thinning.  I just put that seed in the ground, and now as the plant comes up, you want me to pull it back out?  How do you know which one to sacrifice and which one to let grow big and strong?

 

 

Digging for the Pony

The lady at the garden who has cancer is home from surgery now.  She’s resting and still has a tendency to be negative.  She was negative before she found out about the cancer so I don’t think anyone is surprised.

However, in the last week I have heard about 2 different women who are 25 facing cancer and they both have small children.  We all have something we have to face.

This reminded me of the story of twins.  One was a pessimist and the other an optimist. They wanted to do an experiment and see if they could change the kids attitudes.

So they put the pessimist in a room full of brand new toys and he burst out crying. “Why are you crying, the room is full of new toys?”

“They will all get broken”

They put the other boy into a room full of manure.  He quickly began to happily dig. “Why are you so happy? The room is full of manure?”

“Will all this manure, there has to be a pony somewhere!”

I tend to look for the pony.

And I dug for hours yesterday!

I wasn’t expecting a pony since I was digging up weeds and grass to plant fall crops.

I also wasn’t expecting to find shallots, onion and elephant garlic!  I had planted the shallots but the other was from the person who had the plot before me.  All season I enjoyed the plants but totally forgot there would be the benefit of harvest.

I gave what could be used for lunch.  And I think we all enjoyed the meal.

Even though I didn’t find a pony yesterday.  It was a good day overall.