Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The experiment begins: My first community garden plot

White Crane Community garden, a hidden garden off of 7th Ave & Lawton is a quiet magical spot protected from the sounds of the city by a forested hill. After 4 months on the waiting list D & I scored a plot -- a 4 x8 plot to start the experiment of growing our own food!

The rules go something like this: $25/year + 12 hours of community garden work, don't neglect your plot for long, don't plant a huge tree, and garden organically. Here's plot B15 as we first found it...weed infested, bare bones of past harvests gone to seed...
After a bit of cleaning up....and mulching. The soil is Sandy with a capital S. Building up the soil will be our most important task in the months and seasons to come. It's all about the soil. LOAM.
Things to be aware/wary of: community garden politics, plot divers (or gleaners who think that the veggies are for everyone) and gophers. I should've listed gophers first--they love to eat beautiful root vegetables just before harvest and seeds before anything has yet to begin. So we resolved to dig out the whole plot and set down gopher wire--an expensive, back breaking endeavor that will hopefully be a good foundation for the plot.

Mix in two gigantor bags of compost and we're good to go.

We'll do some seeds and some starts--depends on what the veggies we want to grow like best, what seeds we can find and what healthy starts we can buy. Next season, I'll find local seed companies--but this season organic heirlooms bought from a local business will have to do.
Bloomsdale Spinach--hearty and delicious, Rainbow Chard to add a little color to our garden of greens, mixed beets and snow peas round out our seeds

We found gorgeous starts at the Saturday farmer's market...arugula

Orach, a purple spinach & Broccoli Di Ciccio round out the bunch

More garden post updates to come...

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