Monday, August 9, 2010

Playing in Dirt

A friend and I were accepted into a Community Garden! After attending several introductory meetings, we were able to squeeze in when a spot opened up. All that smiling and nodding enthusiastically paid off!

We are now happily in charge of (lucky?) plot #13 and trying to come up with a catchy name for it. It is tiny, but still: such a special place should have a name. Maybe Rondel Farm? (A rondel or rondeau is a 13-line poem with a 4-syllable refrain, such as In Flanders Fields.) How about Terce Farm? ("Terce" is 13 in Spanish.) Buena Suerte Farm? (That's "good luck" in Spanish.) Shortstop Farm? (This was C.S.'s brainstorm, because Venezuelan shortstops tend to wear #13.)

It is so hot here right now that only a few things will grow, but this is a good chance to get oriented and prepare the soil for the planting that can start next month. Plus, what fun to sit in my favorite chair, in the air conditioning, with a vodka and tonic nearby, and peruse seed catalogs!

Here's what the plot looked like to start with. The previous farmer seems to have been a devotee of Square Foot Gardening. I'm not sure if we're going to keep that up or not. But the grid lifts out easily if we decide not to use that method.

The basil is struggling along.

The two pepper plants are struggling along, too. Two orange peppers and one red pepper, coming up!

The beds that have been tended are doing much better. Okra, for example, is very happy here in the summer.

Too bad I don't like okra.

Maybe my basil will look like this someday.

What are these? Eggplants? Whatever they are, they are lovely!

The garden is behind a house owned by a church. Sometimes people who are losing their homes are allowed to stay in the house while they find another place to live. These birds belong to a man who is losing his home and needed somewhere to keep them. Cute, aren't they? They were very chirpy and happy to see me. Maybe they thought I was going to feed them some bugs or caterpillars. It's an organic garden, so that would be okay, I think.

Guess I may wind up learning something about birds, too.

After the clean-up, the basil and peppers now have a little breathing room. Soil improvement and a dash of fertilizer, coming right up!


  1. Excellent! I'm so happy for you. I love gardening. I'm going to post pics of our garden in the next couple of days. It's crazy tall this year.

  2. How exciting! I love pictures of vegetable gardens. I'm always kind of working on my own. Sometimes I have success and sometimes not! Right now I only have two tomato plants and one basil.

  3. Congratulations on getting a garden! You've already got some crop to harvest. Those peppers look a lot better than mine. And basil, too. We had so much rain that ours pretty much gave up by the time the sun shone for real.
    Happy dreaming with the seed catalogs.

  4. Have fun, Farmer Jane!

    I like all the names you came up with, but I think Shortstop Farm is my favorite. Cute.

  5. Fun! I like Rondel Farm, but you'd be having to explain it all the time. Have fun with the seed catalogues!

  6. That looks utterly fabulous! tretze is thirteen in Catalan if that helps, and bona sort is good luck. I imagine Spanish might be more appealing there though!

    What fun.

  7. I think I could handle a garden like that. My husband's on the other hand . . .

    By the way, he picks off tomato horn worms, Japanese beetles and moth caterpillars. Now he has Japanese beetle traps, which are amazing at catching those buggers!

    Blessings at your garden! It already looks much fresher.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for your enthusiastic encouragement. No doubt I will learn lots about bugs and too much/too little rain in days to come.


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