Community Garden: June

We’ve been busy watering and harvesting in the community garden! The ridiculous summer heat has settled in, so we’re trying to keep everything well-hydrated (and myself from fainting!). Mulch has helped keep moisture in the soil so we don’t have to water as much.

Rob recently planted two watermelon plants, which are taking over our new little patch of land given to us after someone dropped out of the garden. Here is Jon taking pictures of our adorable orange, bulby carrots next to the watermelon. We also started harvesting purple carrots, which are actually orange inside.

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Here’s a photo of the watermelon now – it’s taking over! Hopefully that means we’ll have lot of watermelon, although I don’t know how many a single plant is supposed to produce.

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We’ve got tiny edamame pods and hot peppers growing (not sure what kind, serrano, maybe).

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Some of the wildflowers Jen planted in these cinder blocks at the end didn’t take off, so Jon planted some beans (I think these are pinto). They’re getting pretty tall, so we stuck some bamboo shoots in to help them stand up. They would probably do better in the ground or a pot with more room to expand their roots, but we’re doing the best we can with the space we have. Just an experiment (as is all of this!).

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We’re very excited about our first cucumbers! Richie in the plot next to us has a big area full of cucumbers – slender, crescent-shaped ones with big wrinkles! Ours are more traditional-looking but, hopefully, tasty.

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Our crowning achievement, however, has been the zucchini. It rained a LOT this week (about 5 inches in 24 hours), so we got a couple of monsters. If this was in our back yard, I think it would be easier to keep under control, but between the 4 of us, our care for the garden can be a bit haphazard. We show up and things often are a little out of control, like these!

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We found out that certain flowers can help keep insects away, so this weekend we planted three marigolds around the plot. Petunias, Southernwood, and flowering radishes (just let them grow until the flower “bolts” up from the middle and leave it there) are also supposed to help. Those ratty plants to the left there are the spent broccoli we just dug up. Onions are also supposed to keep pests away, and we planted them all over the garden when we first took over the plot in February. Some are still tiny, but some are getting pretty big! We’re just taking one here and there to cook with.

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The asparagus bed is trucking along, hopefully building up a strong root system underground. I got a new shoot this week. The ferns look kind of dill-like.

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I’m really happy to see – and eat – some fruits of our labor. It’s getting to the part of the year where I try to hide from the sun as much as possible, because it’s just too hot to live, so it’s nice that most of the actual work is already done. All the growing has already been set in motion, and now we can just monitor, maintain, and enjoy the summer’s bounty! Several of my friends have started gardens this year, too, and it’s so cool to see pictures of how other people are doing it and what they’re harvesting. I know we’ve made mistakes, missed opportunities, lost some plants, and are not making the most of our limited space, but we’re trying our best. Luckily, nature can be kind sometimes. It still amazes me that we can drop these tiny little seeds into the dirt – dirt! – and something nourishing grows out of it; life honors our attention to it with produce to sustain us.

I go to this great little emergent community church, and I loved this reflection on the ancient practice of walking a labriynth printed in the bulletin on Sunday. Between the thunderstorms pouring down rain on our ground and into our water containers and my continual amazement over the growth I’m helping take part in here in the garden, it really struck a chord in me.

“How does one walk into a Mystery?

Reverently…

Let us go with a sense of awe,

a feeling of approaching the powerful holy

whose lightning slashes the sky,

whose persistence splits concrete with green sprouts,

whose miracles are present in every place and moment.

Hopefully…

And with the knowledge that God meets us in the center.”

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2 Responses

  1. y’all’s is fenced in, which will help, but you should consider putting some kind of guard around the melons and squash. several people have told me that they had wonderful melon plants, but never got to eat the fruit because of animals getting into them. that’s why i’m building that mess around ours.

    i’ve had 2 of our cucumbers! our pickling ones, that are supposed to be the little ones, are getting huge!!

  2. I like non-fiction books as well; Gomorroh is non-fiction.

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