I belong to the Kits Neighbourhood House community garden. It is not a typical community garden, if there is such a thing. Atypical because it’s in a parking lot and because we don’t have individual plots. We garden communally. It made more sense to garden as a group because the space was so limited.
We have work parties once a week. These days it’s mostly harvesting and socializing – the best part of gardening. I hadn’t been for a couple weeks because the pocket markets happened at the same time. But yesterday afternoon I managed to get there. It was a gorgeous, sunny and harmonious day in the garden. We harvested beets and lettuce, some peas, carrots, kale and leeks and a few herbs. We discovered the garlic chives! The potatoes have come up! There was one very large zuke and there will no doubt be 100 more next week. The tomatoes and beans will soon be ready as well. There were eight of us there and we each took a share of the harvest. Kits House also gets a share for their weekly seniors drop in lunch.
We tidied things up, pulling the plants that had gone to seed like the arugula, some of the mustard greens, trimmed the parsley. We finally got rid of the tough old celery plant that had over-wintered. Yeah, another pot freed up! With limited space this always gets a cheer.
Lawrence, one of our members who is the head waterer (because he has his own moisture sensor!) came by and told us the only bed that needed watering was the center one and the surrounding pots. One of the beds is on a slope, so we also dug holes and buried some small pots and pop bottles with drainage holes into the ground so that when we water, the water will pool and go down deep to get to the plant roots.
I gave the compost bins a good mix, added some soil. I have been managing these bins for a year now and I must say they are not my best work. I used straw instead of leaves and it’s not breaking down well. Usually worms migrate in on their own when a bin is in the right balance, but haven’t found one yet. I’ve asked Mary, another member to bring some worms from her obviously superior compost bins to see if they can speed things up a little.
Kits House will be renovating next year, putting in some seniors housing and we will lose our parking lot garden. But we are promised a roof top garden. May want to install an exterior dumb waiter to lift all the soil and equipment up there. But at least we won’t have to negotiate with cars.