Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A night at the community garden

Last night we went downtown to the site of a very new community garden. A friend of ours invited us. There was a presentation by a Master Gardener on companion planting and then everyone that wanted to participate would work together to plant the gardens.

Haven't heard of a community garden? The following is from


Very Simply, it is:

Any piece of land gardened by a group of people.

Planting SeedlingsWe at the ACGA have a broad definition of what a community garden entails. It can be urban, suburban, or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables or community. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots. It can be at a school, hospital, or in a neighborhood. It can also be a series of plots dedicated to "urban agriculture" where the produce is grown for a market.

Benefits of Community Gardens:

  • Improves the quality of life for people in the garden
  • Provides a catalyst for neighborhood and community development
  • Stimulates Social Interaction
  • Encourages Self-Reliance
  • Beautifies Neighborhoods
  • Produces Nutritious Food
  • Reduces Family Food Budgets
  • Conserves Resources
  • Creates opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy, and education
  • Reduces Crime
  • Preserves Green Space
  • Creates income opportunities and economic development
  • Reduces city heat from streets and parking lots
  • Provides opportunities for intergenerational and cross-cultural connections
The community garden we went to is located on the college campus downtown. This is the first year for this garden. I have heard and read about community gardens and wondered if we had any in the area. Sometimes we think we are too busy with our own lives to look around. I am so glad we had a personal invitation to go and even more glad that we took the time to go (despite the threatening skies).

Above is a look at what almost kept us away.

So many pictures to share!! I used PicMonkey to edit the photos.
I sure do miss Picnik!!!

Top left is the Master Gardener giving her presentation on biodiversity/companion planting.
In an area like where this garden is located an ecosystem needs to be created. Different kinds of plants need to be planted to invite the necessary bugs/insects to the garden. YES!! There are good bugs and insects.
Plant placement is also important. This is an open area. Crops that require less sun should be planted in front of crops that will get taller and help shade the less sun loving plants.
The one thing I learned...a week too late...this "weed" that I have been pulling is called purslane. It is actually an acceptable ground cover. Oh that hour and a half I spent in the garden last week. Better late than never right?

Top right some folks are looking at the diagrams for what to plant where. Each garden had a map. It made for easy communication since there were so many people. A couple people helped in each garden and in no time at all there were lots of veggies, herbs and flowers in their new growing homes!

The bottom picture is a great picture of Jim giving the plants their name tags for future reference. This picture also shows the teepee/tripod that is now in the black tubs. The garden behind Jim has lettuce and tomatoes.

1. An overall look of the garden. The fence is an attempt to keep out the neighborhood groundhog.
2. An experiment. Something many have read about or seen others doing, but now being tried first hand...
planting the crops in the straw bale. Some compost was placed inside the bale two weeks ago and the bale was left to compost itself, essentially.  Jim and I are quite curious to see how this works and are considering doing it here, at home, next growing season.
3. A look at everyone working together.
4. Planting the pole beans around the poles. She also planted bush beans in these tubs. We came home with the remainder or her bush bean seeds. Now we just have to figure out where to put them. There is a very good chance we are going to get three tubs of our own and make another tee pee. (I know I am behind in sharing our garden with you, but we do have a tee pee in the side garden)  Using these tubs would gain us some more space and more beans for the freezer!!!!!!
5. Another look at the lettuce/tomato bed.
6. Trying to patiently wait for water which is coming from a rain collection system. It isn't overly close to the garden so water was slow coming.  Good things come to those who wait right???

We met some great people, got some great ideas, relearned some things....we just had a really nice evening!
If you want to follow the progress of this garden here is the facebook page. If you are in the area and want to help out, "like" the facebook page to receive updates!

 After we came home, I found out there are many community gardens near us. Are there community gardens in your area?

Thanks for stopping by!!!
~hugs~ Jen


  1. Awesome. I can't think of two people more suited for this project.

  2. None that I know of. I joined Master Gardeners here when I came and all they do is maintain flowers at public buildings. We have no farmer's markets, no community gardens and what there is is miles away from here. And there is no Starbucks or Barnes & Noble either I might add! Huff, Huff.....I do not belong here! LOL! I would join that group in a heartbeat!



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