The Summer of Dirt

community garden
Photo: Michael Cardinali

I have to share some exciting news – we got a plot in a community garden! I’ve been working on this since the dead of winter, contacting many garden coordinators. Some gardens in our neighborhood have 50+ person waiting lists, so I didn’t expect to get a plot in the first year. Luckily, I found a coordinator who was very accommodating and was able to get a number of new gardeners on board this year by reconfiguring plots. I can’t wait to spend this summer planting, weeding, digging and harvesting. I will dub it the “Summer of Dirt.”

I’ve spent many years as an apartment dweller and a city dweller. This type of living situation limits your interactions with earth, plants and horticultural activities. Although house plants and window boxes are really exciting and sure do make the place look nice, they don’t exactly give you that same level of dirtiness. I remember growing up and helping my dad with his garden. I liked to help plant and weed, and see the small bit of green as it first emerges from the earth, and then develops into a plant. The taste of a freshly picked, grew-it-yourself vegetable is like no other.

Mike and I have a half plot to start with. We’ve already worked on weeding and tilling our plot. We’re just waiting for the city to deliver some freshly composted soil to top off our bit of land before we can plant. This gives us another week or two to scheme and plan and think about what we’ll grow. Any suggestions on what we should grow?

One of the most exciting things about this community garden, is just that – it’s a community. We’ve already met many new neighbors and garden neighbors. The woman who coordinates the garden seems to know every second person that walks down the street. I don’t know many people in our neighborhood; I hope this will be an opportunity to meet new people, try new things, and make some friends.

The garden also has some communal spaces which include several fruit trees, raspberries, herbs, and rhubarb. I love an adventure, and everything about this new garden situation is laden with it!


One response to “The Summer of Dirt”

  1. Cait Avatar

    Grow summer squash- it’s really productive usually. and basil! and tomatoes- not sure if they’re hard to grow… also not sure when you’re supposed to plant things- maybe ask your dad what to plant when. how exciting!!