Community Gardens: Are They Worth It?

DSC01336I finally nabbed a community garden plot.  I have been thinking of one for years and this was my year to go for it.  I have never had a garden before and I have the blackest thumb out of everyone I know.  My only claim to gardening fame it a straggly fig tree and a spindly avocado tree.  I have neglected and over loved every plant I have ever owned.  I am hoping that a sunny garden spot will be the place where my gardening skills truly shine (or at least will not result in mass plant death).  The garden is located in a fairly busy park at one of Kitchener’s community centers and it cost a very reasonable $15.00.

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This is what the plot looked like when I got it… a disaster.  Today was the first chance I got to take a crack at it (I obtained it a week ago) and I figured it would take me an hour to clear out the weeds and dead plant material.  I can actually hear my father laughing in my head (my father being an avid veggie gardener).  Two and a half hours later and I was only 1/3 of the way done cleaning the plot out.  By that point my back was aching and I still had to walk the dog and get dinner ready (does anyone else eat dinner around 9:00 at night?  I really need to fix that).  Being as I work full time, I think I am going to have to work on it a bit at a time.

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From the above photo, you can see the results of a 2 1/2 hour effort on my part.  My gardening buddies told me pea plants should already have been planted, so I stopped the weeding and planted 12 pea plants (four regular peas, 4 snow peas and 4 sugar snap peas).  I have a brewing recipe for pea pod wine and it would be so brag worthy to not only say “Hey try some of my pea pod wine!”, but to also add “I grew the peas myself!”.  Yep, these things excite me.

What are my thoughts so far?  Gardening really IS hard work.  I though people were exaggerating when they said that.  I was wrong.  It takes hours… HOURS.  And most of the time you are in a squat position.  Do all gardeners have nice butts?  I think maybe they do.   What do I expect to get out of this project?  Well delicious delicious vegetables for one (hopefully), but if not, it will be a learning experience.  Two and a half hours in and I already feel more connected to my community, the neighbourhood and the earth itself.  During the very short time I was there I talked to four different people I have never met before and gave my body some much needed movement after a day at the office.  I think a community garden may very well be a way to get more connected to the people around me and a fresh, healthy and vibrant new perspective on life.  Peace out folks.

Amber

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