The site

26 Aug

In late August 2013 we accepted this humble plot in the Reedy Creek Community Garden; plot #32.  Our hope and expectation is to build up a productive garden whose produce will be largely if not completely contributed to the Friendship Trays, Charlotte’s Meals on Wheels program. (More on the Friendship Trays Program here.)

We are calling this little plot “Growing it Forward” based largely on the concept portrayed in the 2000 movie Paying it Forward.

The site is a 20′ x 20′ plot on an arranged grid within the Reedy Creek Community Garden (RCCG). Plot #32, as they call it, sits as a diamond on the compass rose with the four sides facing northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest and The four corners pointing in each of the cardinal directions. Each corner is staked with a metal pole and the plot is bordered by mulched communal pathways. Plot #32 is an interior plot with apparently good growing neighbors and convenient access (less than 10′ away) to a hose-pipe, mulch piles, and community compost though the compost pile seems to be a bit in need of some management at this time. The entire community site is well laid out in a wide open field with plenty of visibility to the road and completely surrounded by a tall black chain-link fence.

As far as all the given conditions seem, I am very impressed. The garden itself is well-established; having been in existence for at-least six years. My grower neighbors that I have met so far are generous and welcoming. Shoot, one guy gave us at least three pounds of beautiful banana peppers just for meeting him and listening to him. We are looking forward to pickling those.

As much as I hate to admit it, though, we are going to need to start slow; from the ground up, to pun an idiom. As you can notice in the photographs above the site needs a little bit of overhaul and cleaning. The plot’s previous steward let the weeds overtake it. A kindly garden neighbor graciously mowed down all the weeds before they turned it over to us. Thank God for such generous souls. At this time, and Lord willing, the plan is to build up three 5’x20′ raised beds using lumber to build the boxes and laying down cardboard and wood chip pathways between them. This should provide approximately 300 square feet of growing space, a sufficient amount considering our backyard garden gives us at best 150 square feet. So far sourcing the materials for building the beds is a mite taxing on the income so I hope to find and re-purpose sizable scrap lumber or other sufficient material.

Starting small and steadily building up as we grow along is gonna be key. To do it all in the first steps will be too much and we’ll risk burn out. I am blessed with an active family of five and thus lead a busy life serving the needs of many more than myself so this venture will have to resemble the low maintenance methods we practice in our home garden. But the added space  and square one status allow us to implement some lessons learned as well as play with a larger scale of produce.

All in all I am looking forward to this venture. Here’s to Growing It Forward!


3 Responses to “The site”

  1. Ed August 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on Our Little Garden at 8505 and commented:

    Check this out! We’re growing something new! So much going on is too much for one Blog so follow our efforts from square one as we learn to grow in a community garden! Check it out!

  2. Rebecca August 28, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Is there anywhere you could get waste sawdust for your paths? If you have a local furniture maker you can get untreated sawdust which is great for keeping down weeds on paths – you’ve inspired me to rethink mine as this was my original intention.

    • Ed August 28, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Yes this is totally possible. And a great idea if you have the source. One problem is caking and washout with a fine powder like dust. But if you have a good source then it can be used. More readily available wood chips from tree companies is a better solution for us since they bring it to the site by truckloads.

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