I’ve mentioned the community garden before. Just a little. But I can’t help it—I’m excited! And there’s so much change happening there. We’ve created new garden beds, twenty of them. We've spent a chunk of today transporting dirt into the new beds. I’m sure my shoulders may be sore tomorrow but it's a good kind of tiring.
We painted boards every Saturday for weeks. One day it was time to screw them together into beds. Some of our members dug trenches for our irrigation system. (Plumbing issues are not my strength so I just kept painting boards.)
I’m painting some columns that are now inside the new, expanded garden. The garden fund paid for paint and I’m volunteering my time. It’s typical of me to find new projects, even as I’m lamenting not having enough time to complete other projects (or boring household chores). But here’s why I’m drawn to this kind of thing: painting something that the public can enjoy makes me happy. It’s not something in my own yard, that only I will see, but something that can brighten everyone’s day. Bringing color to beige columns feels like an obvious solution, since color is an instant mood booster. I love collaborative projects, and everything related to this garden has a communal aspect. It feels good to be part of something that brings beauty to the community. The group is so nice, and I like working together, sharing our time and talents to create something bigger and better than what we could do alone. The garden gives me so much. I love it.
Less than three months ago it was announced that the garden was expanding. So much has happened in that short time.
Below is the wedge of land we annexed. The grass and trees were removed, stumps were ground up, and the fence was changed to border the growing garden.
Here is the same piece of land only a week or two later. Out with the old and in with the new.
Here’s what the garden looked like two weeks ago, with the beds in place, leveled, equipped with irrigation systems, and ready except for one thing. Dirt. (See yesterday’s post.)
Today a huge group of us gathered. There might have been as many as thirty people, including a handful of kids. We shoveled dirt for hours and filled those beds. It was a team effort and we filled all the beds, with dirt left over (which we then needed to move away from the front of the church and into the garden). Guess it's better to have too much than not enough.
Some of the group created a drip irrigation system using plastic tubing. This is kind of what it looks like, although eventually it will lay flat. Each bed has tubing shaped into a rectangle, with four lines that run the length of the rectangle and can water the middle of the bed. We use timers so that our beds are watered even if we aren’t there, but some of us visit almost daily to water our beds ourselves. I feel more involved in the garden when I go more often. You get to observe more growth and change.
Any day now our new gardeners will begin their own stories at the garden. What will they plant? What will the garden look like a year from now? I can’t wait to find out. Let the growing begin (again)!