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Community Garden Update

Community Garden Update

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    I just realized that I have not posted anything about the community garden all summer! I have been posting lots of photos on my facebook page but not much else! I am a terrible garden blogger! It is nearly August and I am wondering what happened to July. Anyhow, I have been busy all season at the University Place Community Garden. I have been managing the elementary school beds along with my own garden space. In addition to those gardens, I took on the role of overall garden liaison. As liaison I am supposed to make sure the garden beds are all being worked, planted, and weeded. There have been several gardens that were abandoned for various reasons. Life is just busy and it can be hard to keep gardening on your radar. One family had a huge space right in the center of the garden that was overrun with weeds and kind of an eyesore. I contacted them and they said we were free to use the space or assign the garden to another gardener. We decided to grow big things there as sort of a statement garden. I planted a few pumpkin plants, some squash, and another gardener put in a huge pole bean teepee. I cannot wait for the elementary school kids to come out and see it. The community garden has kept me quite busy and to be honest I don’t always feel like going over there. However, I am always glad to be there once I arrive. It’s awe-inspiring to see the varying combinations of plants growing and all the different methods gardeners are using to be successful. I am planning a more organized curriculum for the school gardens this fall. I’d like to involve the kids in some fall and winter gardening. We’re going to try out cold frames and cloches. I’d like to do a ceremonial “put the garden to sleep” and then “wake the garden up.” It would be great if they were able to see the garden in stages and not just the late spring. I’m not sure if we’ll get to all this but it would be fun if we do. I haven’t decided if I am going to stay on at the UP Garden next year. I’d like to join a community garden closer to our home so I can be more involved with our own neighborhood. I’d also like to help with the school garden at Gavin’s school. In the meantime, this experience at the UP Community Garden has taught me so much. Here are a bunch of photos taken over the past few months:

    photo 1 (28)

    Having the elementary school classes out was a lot of fun. So much energy!

    photo 3 (24)

    photo 2 (29)

    The Tacoma Garden Club gave us a grant to purchase new tools for the kids!


    This is a photo taken just a few days after we created our pumpkin and bean patch.


    This photo was taken yesterday. The beans are under these mesh baskets to keep the bunnies from eating our crop. We are hopeful that the plants will be stronger once they hit the top of the baskets and start climbing the poles.


    As you can see there are people experimenting with all sorts of trellises, milk carton cloches, floating row cover…


    These are tomatillos growing in our food bank site.


    Someone planted a gorgeous sunflower bed


    This is my personal favorite growing in my garden. They are Jack Be Little Pumpkins and I was completely blown away when I returned to see these guys had grown so much after being on vacation for one week!


    The kids have fun coming to the garden with me. It always takes some coaxing and often a bribe but they are great little helpers.


    I paid Gavin a nickel a bucket when he was helping me weed. I think he earned about 50 cents! The verdict is still out on whether the kids will cherish these experiences in the garden and develop their own love of gardening. There is the possibility that I will turn them away completely. I love that they come with me to the community garden. I hope that someday they look back with fond memories, ideally while they are planting gardens of their own.

    July 30th, 2013 | girl has thyme | No Comments |

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