This past weekend was full of gardens! I spent Saturday morning digging up more of my yard, and then I spent Saturday afternoon helping my friend in his garden. I pulled a bunch of weeds (something that ALWAYS needs to be done), which oddly enough is very therapeutic for me. Though I wasn't the fastest weed exterminator on the farm, I really enjoyed just sitting down, plucking weeds, and letting my mind wander.
After a trip to Zamzow's (I had never been there! It seemed like a really great place, and the staff seemed very knowledgable), we planted some late-season crops including garlic, spinach, and two other crops I can't remember... As a reward for my efforts I got two giant cucumbers and some tomatoes. It pays to help out in the garden :)
I got so inspired I went home and dug some more, then I planted some beans, spinach, and garlic. The beans probably won't reach their full maturity (I'm pretty certain, in fact), however they are legumes, and legumes are a great source of nitrogen. Nitrogen is pretty much essential for healthy soil, so the hope is that by next season the soil will be fantastic. And even if none of these seeds grow, worst case scenario I am out about $2.50. Even on an Americorps budget, I think I can afford it!
There is SOOO much to do in the next little while! This week, even though it's short, is very busy. Tomorrow I am going to a volunteer expo in the morning to hopefully "glean" (haha) some volunteers or just get my message out there. The more people who know about it, the better! Then on Thursday evening the Foodbank has one of their big events of the year, A Chef's Affaire, which has auctions and amazing food, so I am told. This will be a new experience for me! Then Friday, I am off to Ontario, Oregon for the Community Food Forum. I think this event will be a great chance to meet a lot of community gardening enthusiasts.
I have also hatched an idea that I think will work on a number of levels. It will promote the Foodbank's Community Gardening program, bring community gardeners in the area together, and will generally be a great kick-off event for next season. While doing tons and tons of internet research, I kept coming across events known as Community Seed Swaps. I have never been to one, but it seems like people get together and trade seeds with one another. Like I mentioned already, I think this would be a great chance for people to meet each other, and I think it would just be a lot of fun! Obviously this event wouldn't happen until probably late February or early March, but I will keep it in the back of my mind. I have never coordinated a large-scale event before, especially not with seeds, so that will give me an opportunity to work with some seed experts.
As I dive into this crazy week, the community garden program is beginning to take a real shape. We are still far enough away from next growing season that next spring's planting is hazy in the distance. However the transition from summer to fall signals not only a meteorological shift, but a mental shift for me as well. I am prepared to take on the full community garden responsibility :)