Last spring we needed to clean up our yard so we decided to make
it into a community garden. Starting with only a hand-made shovel
and an old hoe, we cleaned out the years' accumulation of dead
leaves and weeds. We turned over the dirt and made furrows to get
the yard ready for seeds, but needed to wait for the last snow to
start planting. Knowing that this wouldn't be 'till some time in
early June, in the meantime we put out a call for seeds on
Facebook. People from all over the country sent us seeds. We
started tomatoes indoors in some buckets and potting soil given to
us by a neighbor. One day late in May we came outside and
found someone had left us a real shovel, a rake and a hand trowel.
Thanks to that kindness we now had the tools to make this work.
So, come June 3rd, we were back at the yard. By this time, the
weeds had taken over the yard again, but we were determined to
fight them back. We were told that "The dirt wasn't much good for
planting vegetables." We were going to do this anyway. The next
morning we awoke to a donation of a few bags of black dirt and a
bag of fertilizer. We dug rows, mounds and irrigation
canals. We planted the baby tomatoes that we had been nursing
since early spring. Another neighbor got so excited that he too
planted some tomatoes and peppers. We had started something in our
neighborhood. We then planted our seeds of zucchini, lettuce,
onions, peas, beans and pumpkins and covered them in black dirt
Then we watered and waited.
By mid-August the first crop of zucchini had set and within
days they were ready for harvest. There were so many of them that
we couldn't pick them fast enough. We handed them out to
neighbors. Soon the neighbor's tomatoes and peppers came in and we
traded them for some zucchini. We made zucchini bread
and Italian zucchini for the Community Brunch at St. Andrews
Episcopal Church. By the end of August we had lots of lettuce and
onions to go with the tomatoes and zucchini. We started handing
out packages of salad makings.
In late September, we took all the tomatoes, onions and zucchini
that were left and made several jars of homemade spaghetti sauce
and handed those out to the neighbors. By this time the pumpkins
started coming in and filled every nook and cranny. In October, we
handed out pumpkins to the neighborhood kids. Our garden was done
for the year. It had been a success! It fed a lot of the
poor, disabled, homeless, and seniors, and all from the donations
of some kind individuals and our hard work . We would like
to do it again this year, but will need more seeds, black dirt and
a new rake. Can you help us to make this happen again?
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