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.


  1. What a fantasic idea Tam, I think the social working bees are a great idea. And also once people become involved they will probably want to wander into the garden to see what is happening.
    I often call in to Fern Avenue just to look at the plots, enjoy the quiet of a large garden.
    And feed the worms.
    Once some of us seedsavers have managed to plant up our gardens I reckon we could have a working bee at your place sometime.
    We have some members who live here in the city who love to get the chance to wander around some where quiet and help other gardeners out.

  2. Hi Tam. You are doing what I have wanted to do but didn't have the land. I am like you, I want to get right on with things and work out the problems as I go along. This is a lovely idea and I so look forward to hearing about your progress and giving you a hand with Maggie and the other seedsavers! If you need some ideas or ....well... anything, just send me an email. You write really well and I am sure this will be a great blog to follow.