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Posts Tagged ‘peterson garden project’

 

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Every year, I participate in a wonderful community garden program, The Peterson Garden Project. It started 6 years ago when I came home from drinks with friends at half price wine night. Dangerous. I was scanning through my twitter feed and saw someone post that she’d just bought a community garden plot in the city. I didn’t even know we had that so completely intrigued, I clicked on the link to learn more. The next morning I saw the confirmation in my inbox. In general, I don’t mix pinot and online shopping but I was thrilled. I’ve never been much of a gardener beyond the herb boxes on my back porch but I am a cook and an eater and the thought of growing things tickled me to death. I started perusing seed catalogs and downloading plot planners like a kid making Christmas wish lists.

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Earlier this week, quickly in the waning sunlight and cold wind, I made the final call on my little community garden plot. There was a frost advisory and I wasn’t sure what remained would survive so I dug up and loaded my herb plants into a shopping bag, cut down all my chard and kale and stripped my glorious and hyper productive tomato plants of the last little orbs. It was downright cold and I wasn’t too sure what I was going to do with all this late season abundance, but I hurried home with my heavy bags knowing I’d figure it out.

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In four years of community gardening, I’ve learned a few things about my little 26sf plot. I’ve learned that all the tomatoes will begin to ripen at the exact moment I leave the country.  I’ve learned that the second I show the slightest excitement about the bud of something wonderful, the next day it will be dry, withered and dead.  I’ve learned that the tall robust plant I nurture and water will very likely turn out to be a tall robust weed.  I’ve learned that things go missing, whether by pest, rodent or human hand.  And I’ve learned that cherry tomatoes are the way to go.  The larger tomato varieties, after weeks and weeks of careful watering, tethering and fertilizing, never seem to make it to September.  But cherry tomatoes will bloom all summer long with a least a good handful weekly, often far more.  I’m smart enough to stick with what I know.

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The email popped up in my Inbox a few months back.  The subject line read “Peterson Garden Project: Happy New Year for Gardening.” I knew what it meant: sign-ups for our little community garden were coming up. Last summer, I ponied up 45 bucks to rent my little corner of the earth and grew some stuff.  Being a novice gardener, I had fair to middling success, depending on the month, learned a ton and laughed hysterically through the whole thing. Perhaps you read my past posts, chronically my trials and tribulations.  At certain moments, usually while I was lugging something heavy and dirty or yanking yet another diseased plant, I wondered “What was I thinking?!” At other times, usually as I drove home popping Sun Gold tomatoes in my mouth, still warm from the day’s heat, I thought “Isn’t everything just awesome?!?” The sheer power of those little tomatoes turned me into a tree hugging 12-year old girl.

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This morning I ripped up my garden plot and called it a day.  That’s most of my final harvest above.  Literally the last gasp of everything she had to give.  There’s word of a frost tomorrow and the garden as a whole closes up on the 6th but I’ve been holding out as long as I can.  All summer I’ve been fumbling along, a gardening rookie with a 26sf plot in the Peterson Garden Project.  If you’ve been following along with my trials and tribulations, you’ll know it hasn’t been easy.  There are 1,000 things I’ll do differently next year and I suppose, that’s the point.  I’m still learning.

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So if you’ve been playing along, you’re probably wondering what’s become of my little plot in a community garden.  A few months back, I got the brilliant idea to buy into a local community garden with my own little 26 sf plot.  Visions of juicy tomatoes danced through my head, chased by melons and squash and oodles of arugula.  Oh the things I’d do!  I bought my seeds, got them going then ditched those in favor of plant starts.  The timing was all off.  On site, I shoveled and hauled like a burly construction worker, eagerly planted, watered enthusiastically and waited for something wonderful to happen.  Then I had issues.

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Ok folks!  I FINALLY have an update on my little Victory Garden with the Peterson Garden Project.  You see, we’ve been a bit behind schedule but no worries.  That happens when you’re working with a lot of donated stuff.  After my initial buy in, several weeks passed in which lovely wonderful people volunteered to help clear the lot, build raised boxes, hold various gardening seminars and provide really excellent support.  I did none of these things.  Yes, I suck.

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