I began this year by setting out some goals for myself. These are goals about food— growing it, preserving it, and saving it from waste. Goal 1 was to grow more food, and I thought I might accomplish this goal in a few different ways.
An obvious way to grow more food is to expand the garden: that is, to use more land for growing food. If you have a yard with decent sun exposure, no problem—expand away. If you don’t own land, though, this poses a challenge.
There are options for the yard deprived, including community garden plots and staking out a claim on public land. Having tried for but not received a community garden plot for several years running, I decided last year to follow the latter route and build a small raised garden bed in a public corridor. That fantastic experience was fodder for a post series called “Urban Food Gardening.” (See links to parts 1 through 5, at right.)
Though I enjoyed my guerilla-lite approach to food gardening (especially picking cigarette butts out of the lettuce), I’ve continued to hope for admission to possibly the most desired not-quite-real-estate on the west side—my local community garden. After years of lament and itchy green thumbs it has actually happened. I have just received use of a community garden plot.
I can’t believe it’s true. I feel so thankful.
This news sparks so many ideas and possibilities. And questions, so many questions. Will I plant fingerling potatoes? Will I be able to grow enough tomatoes to can them? Who will I meet at the garden? Will I feel part of a community? What will my contribution be?
With gratitude and planning anxiety held in equal measure, I am launching a new series, “Growing Community” to chronicle this new foray into gardening neuroses, experimental edibles, and community ecology.
Join me by commenting with your own stories.