Saturday 12 September 2015

The Joy of Gardening - Taking Part in a Community Garden at Work

The Joy of Gardening 
Taking Part in a Community Garden at Work

This year I had the great enjoyment of taking part in a community garden at work. There is a large piece of property behind our building and for the last number of years a section of it has been prepared for community gardening. This year it was broken up into individual plots. Since I have been juicing so much this year I wanted to garden for juicing. Now I have not really done any gardening in over 25 years since moving out of my dad's house, and was both excited and nervous. My plot was 15'x6'. And I was a little over eager about how much I could plant. This was my plan:

My wishlist for seeds and seedlings that were provide by facilities at work were:

Red Beets
Golden Beets
Radish Various types
Lambs Quarter 
Black Kale
Vates Kale
Flat Parsley
Red Basil
Red Chard
Red Kohlrabi
Heirloom Carrots

The one's in red were what I actually ended up with and the final layout was:

After planting day it looked like this:

On numerous occasions my children went with me to weed and water. The water uses is collected on site from the roof system.  

I had a little unexpected travel and was away more than I had planned over the summer so weeds ended up overtaking my plot. But I got some great harvests. I got three harvests of this size and still have a little more to go. 

For the most part it went well. But none of my golden beets came up, and my heirloom carrots were not worth harvesting to date they remain very small and soft for some reason. Also the green Kohlrabi did not come up. I loved taking short breaks at work and going and pulling weeds and watering my garden. It was especially nice when thinking through problems to go outside, get some sunshine, get my hands dirty and usually I had new ideas by the time I came back in. And I love my hands having the smell of parsley or cilantro for the rest of the day.

Lessons learned. Next year do not be as aggressive. Only go with three rows planed. Also skip the golden beets and just plan the red. I ended up harvesting a lot of Lamb's quarter that was growing as 'weeds' unplanned through my plot and around the garden it is great in salads or smoothies and juices. Red kohlrabi is awesome much more flavour than green! And try and be more consistent with the weeding or lay down straw between the rows as others did.

All in all it was a great experience and again I am thankful to be at an employer who is so forward thinking. It was an awesome experience!

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