We are officially farmers.
Alright, I concede that we are less farmers and more gardeners (and novice gardeners at that), but aren't we just farming on a small scale? A farm is land where plants or animals are raised. A garden is a plot where plants can be cultivated. Can you see how I am drawing similar conclusions here?
On Saturday, May 15, the Mason Community Garden officially opened for business. We submitted our application a few days prior but still felt very unsure of exactly what we were getting into when we pulled up to the location.
Having not purchased a single plant, we showed up with lots of questions. There seemed to be a large area plowed for the community garden, but we were one of the first cars to arrive. With 15 short minutes until the blessing of the land, I was a bit concerned that no one else from Mason was as crazy as we were to commit a chunk our summer to this project.
Sure enough, many more people arrived. In fact, some people filled out the paperwork upon arrival. The friendly crowd began chatting amongst themselves about the different types of vegetables they were planting, how to deep to put the seeds for corn, how much rain was expected for the upcoming week, and how all of these factors were going to play into their garden plots. I quickly realized that everyone else seemed calm, relaxed, and experienced with gardening. It was only me who was standing in the field thinking what a big job this would be and how unprepared I felt. Their smiles to me and hand shakes showed me that if I had questions, these were the right people to ask. If I needed guidance, they wouldn't hesitate to offer their help. This is not a competition. Our community benefits from this garden being a success.
After the future garden was blessed by a local pastor, we wandered over to our plot. We knew that it would be ten feet by fifteen feet, but it's really hard to imagine what that really looks like until you see it.
As we stood by our plot trying to imagine what it might look like with actual plants in it, we enviously spotted others in the garden beginning to dig trenches and readying a few tomato plants for their new homes. We needed to go shopping. I had already done some online research and picked the perfect locally owned nursery to visit, Funke's Greenhouse. More on that place in another post. But trust me, if you are looking for plants for your garden, it's the right place to go.
It wasn't until I spoke to my mom on the phone that I realized before we actually put plants in the ground, we might need to have a plan. If you know me at all, organization is not my strong point (creative minds always do better on the fly, don't we?), but I"m lucky to have a husband who prefers to approach all things with a specific goal. And like every
nerd planner, he even has graphing paper. I learn something new about him every day.
The goal for the next few days is to draw out our garden on paper. My mom suggested that we figure out how many rows we need through the garden so that we can reach the plants for weeding, pruning, and harvesting. It hadn't even occurred to me that we would need places to walk through, but that's why I surround myself with people who have more sense than me. Tim read in our second-hand gardening book, Organic Gardening , that we should measure the distance between each row and put a steak at each end. Then run a string from each steak so that we keep our rows straight and equal distance apart. Such common sense, but if we hadn't purchased that book, I'm not sure we would have been so thorough.
Wish us luck (or pray for us, whichever you think is more appropriate) and I will be sure to track our successes and failures throughout the summer.