Mary, Mary Quite Contrary…

…How does your garden grow?

A few years ago, I rented a community garden plot. The first year was quite successful and a bit of fun.
The following year (felt like yearS) was not so fun. Picture: hard clay, plots untilled, dragging hoses here and there and some bastard of a weed called Creeping Charlie proliferating. Insert gardening hiatus here. Fast forward: new gardening managment, water spigots every other plot (no hose dragging required), a new resident tractor and people who are organized. Result: I’m baaaaccckkkk.

My garden grows with:
kale
lettuce
carrots
broccoli
brussel sprouts
zucchini
sugar snap peas
roma tomatoes
basil
cherry tomatoes
swiss chard
onions (3 types!)
eggplant
green peppers

I have been fortunate enough to have a wonderful helper this year. She’s old enough to appreciate the food we’re growing, even if she has no interest in eating it, and has been taking an interest in cooking lately. It’s like a Jamie Oliver tv episode meets the real world.

Best Garden Helper Ever!

Best Garden Helper Ever!

As a bonus, she’s also pretty fun to work with.
In the garden today, I was hunched over a freshly dug hole and she’s was diligently bringing me seedlings.
Me: can you pass me the swiss chard please?
Her: beets?
Me: swiss chard.
Her: beets.
Me: swiss chard!
Her: beets! (holding the plastic tab with the plant name)
Me: (Look up. Sigh.) Beets. $h*! I meant to buy swiss chard.
We both laughed and she continued to refer to the beets all day as the swiss chard.

Note the beets are not in the above list; they went to a garden plot neighbour. 🙂 After scouring York Region greenhouses, I finally found the swiss chard at Benedetto’s.

Normally when I’m at the garden, it’s all “blah, blah, manual labour, sweat, worms, dirt, insects, blah, blah”. Today, it was different. It had that “if you build it, they will come” feeling. In the past there have been 1-2 people at the garden plots simultaneously. Today, there were 12-20 people at any given time. And you know what? It felt good. It felt like this is what a community garden plot is supposed to be all about: meeting people who all have a common interest and working towards a common goal. These are people that I saw throughout the weekend at various garden centres and greenhouses (apparently we were all looking for swiss chard). Thanks to the garden uniting us, we smiled at each other, gave each other knowing nods or asked where they scored the deal on broccoli. It felt pure and grounded. It felt like life slowed down a little; life was a little bit less tech-dependent and a little more rural, if only for a few hours.

Community Garden Plots

Community Garden Plots

Freshly planted seedlings

Freshly planted seedlings

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