Friday, March 13, 2009

March in the community gardens


Yesterday Skippy and I checked out my plot at the Belmont Victory Gardens. I took some photos and assembled them into a PhotoSynth. Here's the link.

Everything is still drab and mostly lifeless. It was cold (about 28*F). But the snow has melted in most areas.

I was interested to see which areas are melting first. My garden is in the center of the south slope that is clear and must be the warmest area. The low spots are the snowiest still.

I can see all the work I need to do this season. I want to clear a path around the back side of my plot (the area I took the photo from) and establish grass here. I'll mow it to keep the weeds from shading the garden. A lot of debris will have to be moved. And my garden needs to be leveled and new beds marked out in the newly expanded area.... I'll be busy soon.

I can see that lots of gardeners have been gathering compost and piling it on their beds this week. I will have to work on this too. I saw a beautiful blue metal and wood wheelbarrow down at my local True Value that I may go and buy soon. My small plastic wheelbarrow is not very good on the bumpy paths of the gardens.


Anonymous said...

Why not use a cover crop like red clover or hairy vetch (this one might be a bit prolific) or in stead of grass?

It creates a habitat for insects and it doesn't require a lot of maintenance. You can keep it in check with a scythe and use it as a green manure in your garden.

Anonymous said...

It must be so exciting to have so much more space this year. Pretty soon you won't need your CSA anymore. You will be growing them all yourself.

kathy said...

Great idea for the path. I'll have to see if either is winter hardy. I can't remember right now.

One reason for using grass is that's what comes up naturally. We haven't seeded any of the paths. We just mow and go with whatever we get. Probably seeded from the neighboring open meadows.

kathy said...

Right Daphne, no CSA this year. It was hard to use it all last year.

I did have great storage veggies from the CSA that I hope I can reproduce. I still have CSA beets and potatoes in the fridge.

Anonymous said...

Can I suggest to everyone, instead of going out and buying things like wheelbarrows, fencing, wood, top soil, fish tanks (to start seeds), ect...that everyone should go to and check daily in the "free" section. You'll be amazed at some of the stuff people just give away.

pion said...

Kathy, I'm unfamiliar with this kind of environment. I live & garden in NE Vermont where there's lots of land. Do you pay a fee for this allotment? And noise, are there radios & cellphones? To say nothing of other distractions like everyday banter. And can you grow enough to freeze, can, store into the winter? Putting food by is part of why we garden. I remain thankfully far from the maddening crowds' ignoble strife.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Garden Blog you have created!

I wanted to let you know about a national campaign I am spearheading to help stimulate a national move towards growing more of our food closer to home. As you know, as the economic challenges continue to grow, more and more Americans are considering getting involved in local food production.

As a way to help to accelerate this trend, we have started a very simple campaign called "One Million Gardens"'s goal is:

To identify, encourage, and document the creation of at least 1,000,000 food gardens throughout the U.S. in 2009.

I was curious if you would take a look at the site, add your garden to the list, and let others know about this campaign. It is also my hope that we can show the Obama administration the growing numbers of people involved in this work and help shift national policies to help encourage these activities.

kathy said...


The fee is $25/year, half of which covers our water usage.

Don't think I've ever heard radios or annoying banter. Maybe a rare a Red Sox game on a radio. I think everyone comes out to the garden to listen to nature. The birds can get very loud in the morning. Peasants. Hawks. Song sparrows. Orioles.

(My dog is probably the most annoying sound to others. We're working on "no bark".)

And when we weed whack or mow the paths, its noisy.

But then, one learns to enjoy the sounds of people gardening and talking. Its nice to have people walk by my plot and say hi. And its really great to see everyone's gardens. I learn much by this. And it is so incredibly beautiful to see the patchwork of styles. I wish for more hours in a day to wander through and see what I can discover.

In the past I haven't grown much in the way of storage crops, but that's what I'm trying to do more of. I have about 1000 sq ft. I do grow all of my family's summer and fall vegetables and I give much away too. I think I can grow all of year's my potatoes, beets, pesto and tomatoes sauce this year too. Maybe half of my carrots.

Community gardens provide a fantastic opportunity to give lots of people access to garden space. For many, who don't know a lot about food growing, just the chance to grow a little food is invaluable. Community gardens also strengthen communities by letting neighbors get to know each other and share a common interest. Their value should not be underestimated.

kathy said...

Hi Zev,

I will stop by your site soon. Sounds great. We are hoping to add a number of new plots to our community gardens this year. We have a waiting list of at least 30 or 40 now. It would be great to provide all with a plot!

I've been very happy to see the evidence of new gardens by my sidebar poll. Today I see that of 283 people taking my poll, 55% percent are starting a new vegetable garden this year. 40% already have a garden. So at least from the people I'm polling, it looks like the number of vegetable gardens is more than DOUBLING this year!

Lauren H Richardson said...

What a cool way to show your whole garden plot in its entirety! Looks like you have a lot more room in the Victory Garden to augment your home garden space. I am interested to see all the new veggies, herbs and flowers you add with the newly cleared space.