Saturday, June 16, 2007

Community Gardening


I enjoy growing vegetables. Unfortunately, my backyard is considered one big salad bar to any transient critter passing through. I've spotted rabbits (see below), raccoons, deer, moles, woodchucks, ground hogs, ducks, skunks - just to name a few. They eat everything and anything - they also lounge on MY lounge furniture in the overnight hours. The ones who tried to take a dip in the pool - well, let's just say that I managed to fish them out after freaking out.

My town hosts community garden plots where I get to grow my vegies. It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to do this because the time and expense involved doesn't offset the easier trip to the farmer's market. But I do this each year mostly because I get a lot of joy watching seeds grow into food, it is a miracle that never ceases to amaze me. I also feel that it is important for me to do this while it is still legal. Why would community farming ever be outlawed you ask? Well, seeds have become a major political and economic barrier to family and subsistence farmers because seeds are patented. Many seeds now are sterile. This tactic prevents farmers from harvesting viable seeds - some patented seeds DON'T REPRODUCE. Farmers are forced to buy seeds every year and, even worse, we eat this frankinfood! But, I digress...






The field is plowed in early May and thick, rich composted soil is brought in.





Beautiful virgin dirt!




This is what happens when you don't get your plot prepared in late May, WEEDS!



It took me two days to clear my plot of all the weeds. Finally, progress after the first day...



...and the second day after I got the tomatoes in.





My newly employed, soon to be 16 year old stopped by to lend me a hand.


If all goes well, I'll have a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers, string beans and cucumbers by early August. Until then, I'll be visiting the local Farmer's Market. Not only do I get the best non supermarket produce around, I get loads of tips and talk on farming!

Farmer's Market circa 2006

UPDATE

This morning, after I finished adding today's post, I go outside to work in my garden. I notice this little clump of fur in the grass -

... where there's fur-


there's usually a body... I didn't expect a headless bunny though. The local hawk must have had him for breakfast. I guess hawks don't do head.... And this was suppose to be such a nice post :(

12 comments:

Mary Anne said...

a great post, until I came to the rabbit head. however, this is what happens in nature. thanks for the link to the organic seed website. I didn't know there was a seed issue. fascinating, and scary. we buy most of our veggies from the local farmers market too.

Lynn said...

Ok a little head's up, um ok that sounded better in my head......
I was sad after I saw that picture, but my unintentional black humor cracked me up. Sorry, I never said I didn't need therapy!

ANYWAY, I love your gardening plot!! How big is it?!? You did a lot in 2 days! I agree, planting something from seed and have it turn into food is amazing to me. And the problems that farmers run into are just plain wrong.....

del said...

Growing your own veggies is the best...I love being able to walk into my backyard & pick my own tomatoes & peppers. Love it!

Poor bunny!! I know, hawks gotta eat, too, but still...

AR said...

I'd just do the farmer's market, because I am a bad gardener. Everyone else in my family has the green thumb. Not me, oh well.

Poor bunny ~ full hawk.

Diane said...

That's a terrible thing to find in your garden. My cat brought me half a chipmunk this afternoon. Very sad.

sherry said...

I've ranted about Monsanto's litigation over their "Roundup Ready" seeds, and been treated like I was really strange to care about such things. Knowing a kindred spirit is very cool.

I may have to reserve a plot in our community garden next year. My source for homegrown tomatoes, corn, etc. was insensitive enough to RETIRE. It looks like you've got a great start to the growing season!

Kelly said...

It's great you get to farm in the city. My grandmother has a vegetable garden in her backyard. I unfortunately do not have a green thumb. Nonetheless, I try to support these local farms in Michigan with my money because their produce is way better than anything Walmart can offer.

tonya said...

GROSS

hakucho said...

Good luck with your garden. There is nothing better than home grown veggies! We used to have a big garden, but gave up on it because of the ground hogs. They would wait until the plants were just the right size and then wipe us out. We even bought a trap, filled it with carrots. They were so smart they would send in their babies to get the carrots. The babies were so light the didn't set off the traps. We just gave up but miss it terribly....it's just not worth the aggravation :(

happy gardening!!

Ina said...

Your garden looks great. Mine has been pokey this year.

DebVA said...

Thank goodness for y'all with green thumbs. I'm a vegetarian that can't grow a vegetable (lol). That's why God created Farmer's Markets.......

Deborah said...

Oh my! As awesome as nature is, there is always something we don't want to see.