Community Supported By Agriculture (March 3 Garden Project)
I woke Wednesday feeling kind of edgy. Not sure why exactly, just a little stressed, I guess. I first hit the Green City Farmer’s Market. It was a warm, sunny day and it was really wonderful to run into my friends Dana and Pete and Judith there. I walked away feeling happy to have the sense of community that I do at the market. How cool that “buying groceries” can be a soul-satisfying experience rather than a trot down a florescent-lit aisle pushing a metal cart.
Then it was on to our communal garden. Just to clarify, the March 3 Garden Project is a group of four urban farmers who are sharing a backyard and gardening every square inch of it. It’s not my yard, but I feel very at home there.
Getting ready to plant this spring required a lot of infrastructure improvements and “heavy lifting”. We tore the deck off the back of the house. Tore out raised beds. Pulled out paving stones. Roto-tilled the entire yard. Spread two cubic yards of compost and blended it with the existing soil. Transplanted three evergreens. Cut down trees. Propped up three rain barrels. Cleaned gutters. Cleaned and organized the garage. Hung trellis.
All fun stuff. I love hard work. But you’ll notice none of that was “gardening”.
Yesterday was the first day I truly felt like a calm, zen gardener. It was the sort of warm sunny day where the temperature is exactly perfect. Our to-do list was pleasant somehow and there was just a great vibe in the garden as three of us worked. Maybe it was the folk music on the radio that felt like the right music for that moment. Maybe it was…I don’t know what it was, but it was really nice. English is failing me just now. I suppose it’s the sort of thing you need a poem to explain. Ok, so here’s my “photo-poem” that tells what we did:
I pulled straw out of the potato boxes to mound more soil up around the plants. The stems of the potato plants are amazing! They’re dense and watery looking, like a succulent, so full of future potato-ness.
Marc weeded with that fancy Japanese weeder thingy:
Ellen harvested turnips,
and gave friends a tour. We’re very proud when we’re showing our garden to people!
We planted cress this year, not really knowing too much about it. A lot of cress. It is fiery stuff. Seems like we better make soup!
One of my favorite rhythms of a day in the garden together is watering in the late-afternoon. I like watering myself and I equally like watching the sun hit the water as others nurture our plants.
Looking ahead, zucchini is popping up in our greenhouse, some still wearing their little hats:
We came, we sowed, we weeded, we watered, we reaped. We reaped greens, of course, but we also reaped the benefits of gardening together, that community supported by agriculture.