The story behind these photos begins some two years ago or more. It starts around the time when I found myself stepping away from work as a school garden educator, where one of my gardens consisted of 22 raised beds, a perennial border, fruit trees, native plantings, and chickens (just a wee garden).
My reasons were worthwhile, beginning work on my first book. There was no way I could manage both a book project, creating integrated curriculum for kindergarten through 8th grade students, as well as tend to a garden so large and do all of these things well.
However, when I moved on from the school gardens I found myself with just my little deck garden for planting. It was fine at first, but it didn’t take long before my handful of containers simply wasn’t enough. So, I did what all rational people that love to grow things do. I called my community center and asked if they’d please add my name to the two-odd year wait list for a garden plot.
Call it wishful thinking, the stars aligning, or The Universe answering my plea for a plot of earth, but it was just a few weeks later that I found The Knoll. While out for a trail run I spotted it, my garden — well, someone’s garden. But already it was mine. It was sitting there, 2 raised beds with a neat little deer fence around it and obviously untended for quite some time. I made quick work of discovering the owner and, thank the heavens above, found myself repairing the beds and planting in freshly cultivated soil within weeks.
It was a dream. No, better than a dream.
(I’ll share photos of The Knoll soon or look to my Instagram feed.)
So now, here I am. Plot 31b. My name finally shot to the top of the list for a community garden plot — due in large part because demand was so high for plots that my small town added a second garden. I’m still working away on my book (it’s nearly to print, releasing in spring of 2018), and I think I’m nearly back to where I started minus curriculum development (of course).
I was given a medium sized plot to tend, where I planted a lone pumpkin, scads of cucumbers, radicchios, ‘Russian Mammoth’ sunflowers, ‘Shishito’ peppers, tomatoes, flowers, and herbs of all kinds including ‘African Blue’ and ‘Magic Mountain’ basil. Oh, and sugar baby watermelons! My first time successfully growing them and so close to the coast where we have loads of cool, summer fog.
You’ll see in the photos to follow that beyond my plot are loads of borrowed views. The gardens of others make 31b doubly as wonderful because it’s not just what I’m growing that matters. It’s what we’re all growing — together.
Note: Photos taken in August of 2017.
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