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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Community Garden

Gardening is and always has been such a big part of my activities that I could easily devote a whole weblog just to it, and maybe I should, after what is happening this year.

 I am thinking of doing just that, though not by creating a new weblog.   All this while I have had  two other weblogs, that I created at the same time that I started this one, six years ago.   But I've kept the other two essentially private, while putting very little into either one, compared to this one, Unpopular Ideas.  I use one for the occasional stabs that I make into writing my fiction online these days, and the other is for jotting down odds and ends and this and that.   And now I'm thinking that I could put all the gardening stuff in the latter site.  

This thinking has started because this year I joined a small community garden.   It's small in the sense that so far only two other neighboring families are part of it, but not so small in terms of size, especially because my joining in has, because of the stuff I want to plant, resu;ted in the area increasing to four times the size that it was last year, when it was founded and when I was not a member.

This garden is located in a field on the property of G. and C., less than a quarter-mile up the road and just off their driveway.   It is a great spot for a garden, level, with good soil, plenty of sun, and the surrounding trees a good distance off.

It came about after G. and K. had spent several years discussing the idea of pooling their gardening efforts, but nothing had come of it, mainly because K. is so engrossed in his very successful pottery making and marketing.  But finally K., with the encouragement of his wife, L., saw his way clear to taking the plunge, and the three of them went to it, though without the contributions also of G.s wife, C., an inestimable woman  who, however, according to G., doesn't like to spend any of her valuable time outside the house, except taking walks.

Everybody in the neighborhood knew that I had always had a big garden, with various main themes, but this group of our close friends on the road didn't directly ask me to join in, nor did I ask, though they kept me well informed on how their garden was going.   One reason that they didn't ask me was because they probably thought that my head was elsewhere at the time, like on my stained glass, and it was..

But also I couldn't see how their scheme could possibly pan out.   Over many years I hadn't known any of them to do any serious gardening, and after all, what's the point of doing anything, especially maintaining a garden and if you have plenty of space and other favorable conditions for one, if you're not going to be serious about it?    K, and L, usually had a few flowers -- limited by K.'s strong aversion to cutting down any of his living trees, while  G. had sometimes raised a few vegetables, and he also has a small orchard, but all three are working full time, and between that and their extensive calendar of other activities, I didn't think they would be able to take the time out for having a garden, a serious one, which pretty much demands full time attention at certain key times of the year, such as when one is taking vacations..

But to my surprise, after G. s efforts at plowing, disking, tilling, fencing, and otherwise preparing the site,  K. and L. were unexpectedly conscientious about trekking up the road and tending to the garden throughout the summer, and the weather was on their side, and  they had what G. has told me five or six times was a superb garden -- or at least it was to their way of thinking.   I  checked it out once or twice, and their garden looked good though not at all on the ambitious side.   But what should anyone say?

So finally this year visions of growing a respectable number of the really important crops -- cantaloupes and watermelons, with a side plot of supersweet corn -- got the best of me, and  I got around to asking whether I could join, and they all gladly agreed to allow me, and that's been the start and the only phase so far, of this shot I'm taking at community gardening, as opposed to my natural bent of doing everything alone and in the utter privacy of my own property.

At this still early point in my participation, I've already had, to go along with my high hopes, a number of high anxieties, including some that I've never had to entertain before, and I still don't know whether my decision was good, bad, or no big deal.



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