Monday, June 28, 2010

I Hoe I Hoe

Getting started with a pine pole perimeter

Church youth group builds plot boxes

I am a participating founder and member of the steering committee of our local non-profit Green Team.  Our mission: 

The Green Team was developed to act as a catalyst to facilitate, educate, promote, and encourage sustainable green business practices that will lead to positive, measurable business,
community, and environmental results. 

Delivering  & dumping compost  (left & below)

We began this endeavor in 2007.  Our biggest accomplishment to date,in my opinion, are the Community Gardens.  Beginning with one location last summer, we expanded to four sites this Summer in geographically separated areas.  Pretty exciting!  Each site is borrowed land and contains a certain number of salable plots to anyone with $25.  Each site has a "giving garden" which all plot owners are supposed to help maintain.

The "giving gardens" are planted with all manner of vegetables and require weeding and de-bugging.  This is all organic so no sprays or toxics.  One of our locations is a parcel on a wonderful farm with rich soil.  This was the last location to come on board and, as such, has only two plot owners.  As a result, the Green Team members are caring for the giving gardens here.  They are most substantial on this site due to the soil.

Boy Scouts spread sawdust & compost

Yesterday we hoed, raked, pitch forked & hand pulled weeds for three hours.  Only 3 of us showed up.  Thank God I've been doing weight training.  It gave me stamina and strength to do the work.  Backbreaking?  Whoa!  I haven't picked up a hoe in years!  I maintain my flower gardens but I no longer grow veggies nor would I ever let anything become as overgrown with weeds as were these.  Three people worked 3 hours & only cleared about 100 square feet.   I sure have respect for small farmers and the pioneers of old.

Hand made gate using de-barked maple

The giving garden produce will go to free food services that prepare meals for the hungry as well as to local food banks.

These photos are from our most perfect site in a tiny town nearby.  A huge variety of folks pitched in to build this garden as you can see from the photographs.  It truly embodies the spirit of "community".   

Rainwater capture barrel, pump and hose created by the town's highway dept.


Grandmother said...

What an altogether wonderful team to belong to, what wonderful work to exhaust yourself doing, what good, generous and healthy habits to promote. Thanks.

DJan said...

I love the title of your post! Plus it is a good thing you're in shape. How are you feeling today? I hope not more than a little soreness.

Vicki Lane said...

What a worthwhile endeavor!

Baino said...

What a great initiative, I could fit a dozen of those in my back yard. Really must build a veggie patch so thanks for the instructions!

California Girl said...

Grandmother: the gardens are the most personally rewarding for me and the most visible accomplishment of our organization

DJan: I was quite sore this AM but it was raining a lot too which always affects my arthritis so, at this point in my life, who knows?

Vicki: Yes. Growing things and then giving them away is pretty nice. I guess when you make do with your hands, you have to feel good.

Baino: Seriously, I actually put all these photos in as a step by step w/o wanting to seem pedantic. It doesn't look so hard tho', does it? I think the biggest thing is putting the boards together to frame the plots.

Barbara and Nancy said...

Hi California Girl,
What a great job you're doing. So worthwhile.

Marguerite said...

Wow, what a wonderful project and community! I had an organic garden in Maryland, for many years, so I can appreciate the work involved. So worth it, though!

Deborah said...

This is amazing! One day the tipping point will be reached, and gardens like this will become the norm - at least I hope so. My Calgary neighbourhood has one, but i don't even know who has done it or who it benefits. Maybe I should go and find out!

And bravo to you for your contribution and committment. If not for people like you...

Mama Zen said...

That is outstanding!

injaynesworld said...

I love this. You really don't need much space to put in gardens. I love to see this spread to some urban communities. Great project.

Susan said...

You rock, girlfriend! What an awesome project! And I love that there is more than one site. I don't think our town has anything like that, but in Columbus at the Franklin Conservatory, there is a community garden. There's also a project called "Plant a Row for the Hungry" with donations going to local food banks. That's where I usually take my excess produce when I have any. One time the food bank wasn't open and I had a lot of green beans, so I just walked into Goodwill and offered them up. I had more takers than I had green beans, that's for sure! It feels good to make people smile.

Coffee Messiah said...

The way things are going this may very well be the wave of the future.

We are just now plotting our compost area, a first step for us.


California Girl said...

Barb & Nancy: Thanks. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could grow avocadoes in this climate?

Marguerite: I know now why I no longer have my own garden! If I didn't have so darned much arthritis, I'd be fine. Thank God for the weight lifting.

Deborah: I hope you, Jayne and Coffee are correct and this becomes a fixture in every community. There is much to be gained.

Mama: a good project for Baby down the road, don't you think?

Susan: I agree. Food banks are great for canned goods and non-perishables but not produce.

Coffee: I am pleased to hear it. I'd like to hear more or see a cool collage as it grows.

Nancy said...

Wow! I'm impressed. What a wonderful thing to do for others!

jeannette said...

Oh, you rather than me! Admire your attitude towards life

-about the painting and link: go ahead, sounds great! - mostly am not before noon on my blog (unless I can't sleep and I'm on in the middle of the night LOL)
thanks for the link!


by Cole Scott