Monday, November 23, 2009


The heat-wave veil has lifted and the placid spring sun mixed with spots of gentle rain have soothed the garden. Plants have quickly sprouted leaves, some doubling in size in just two days. The celeriac that Lisa planted only yesterday already has three new leaves each.

I'm feeling excited and confident that the things that I originally set out to achieve will mostly get done. I can also see that as much as what I have created was all that I could realistically manage, a lot more work will need to be done to achieve my goal.

Small steps...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trials of the Community Garden

Well I didn't think it would be easy, but I'm not the giving up type, so I'll take everything that has happened as an interesting learning curve and get back on my bike next year.

Okay, so '09 in Adelaide wasn't really the best time, as it turns out, to double a vegetable patch. I was rather reliant on spring coming along, but since the extended Winter turned instantly into serious Summer there hasn't been much enthusiasm from me, or other parties to get things happening in time.

My goal is to feed 10 families with plenty of seasonal vegetables, not just a few here and there. I thought maybe 5 families this year and perhaps add another 5 next year. But because I haven't had the help to set it up, I can't plant enough to sustain many people at all. I have planted some things, but also have many seedlings still not planted because I have no prepared garden beds. I'll keep working away at the garden beds in preparation to plant a winter crop in them. So all's not lost. Making compost and good soil is just as important.

The best lesson for me in this is that telling people that they can come along whenever they feel like it and till around in the garden wasn't ideal. People enjoy a sense of community and the idea of working alone isn't particularly enticing. So I'm going to shift tact and invite people to working bee days and provide lunch. To me this appears more interesting because they get to chat with like-minded garden enthusiasts, enjoy a nice meal, and have the opportunity to come back at any time and pick from the garden.

The summer garden is still quite plentiful though, and I will still have excesses to share around. There will still be corn, tomatoes, capsicum, chilli, zuchini, squash, beans, red cabbage, fruit, herbs and more. It just isn't as much or as varied as I'd originally hoped.