Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Making Progress

I got a call from Tammy on Saturday. "Hey, are you at the church garden? Could you tell them I'm loading the tiller now and I'll be a bit late?" I managed to deduce by this that (1) we were starting the spring garden work; (2) I'd missed a message somewhere along the way about a meeting time; and (3) I was late. So I beat feet over there and arrived in plenty of time to help figure some things out and get a reasonable amount of dirt under my nails.

Discoveries and decisions:
  • The north "toe" of the garden will be a block of sweet corn, cared for communally. I may add some runner beans, so they can grow up the corn stalks for a bonus crop.
  • The south "toe" has been adopted by Susie and Sandy, who will garden it together.
  • The middle section will be split into nice even rows, rather than being broken up into plots and paths. George wants to do pumpkins for the Bridgeway House kids, and maybe some onions; Mary wants to do carrots; I want to plant swiss chard and some winter squash to take its place later in the summer; and there are a couple of other people who may want to get into the act later.
  • The purpose of the garden is to raise food for the local hungry (including the homeless women and children at Bridgeway). The food pantry only distributes twice a month, so we're talking about delivering all the produce for the "off" weeks to Bridgeway. But some church members don't have room for their own gardens and would like a tomato or two for their own table, so Deb had the excellent idea of a swap option for gardening members - for instance, take a few tomatoes, replace them with a few rolls of toilet paper.
  • I asked for rain barrel donations in church on Sunday, and 45 minutes later I had two 30 gal. barrels and two 45 gal. barrels. Garage gutters were theoretically approved last year to feed such barrels - now I just have to shepherd that theory into reality without stepping on any toes.
  • And most important: when you pull back on a tiller, it digs deeper into the soil and pulls back on you. I nearly went flying a couple of times before I figured out how to guide it with a gentle touch. Reminds me of raising children.

See how expertly Tammy does it? And her section looked a lot fluffier than mine . . .

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