The city of Bloomington has a community garden project. They have two pieces of land that they have plotted out for local residence to garden in. One is a more elaborate plot in which communities can rent out each year, the other a little less glamorous, yet free chunk of earth located in the middle of a city park.
Having missed any opportunity to garden over the last year and a half, Amy and I signed up for a free plot. Unfortunately we have been too busy to get out there over the last several weeks and so the ground that was nicely plowed for us became overgrown with weeds.
We were a little embarrassed going out there last week seeing our weedy rectangular plot sitting next to all of these finely tuned vegetable gardens. A local not-for-profit business has taken over the majority of the plots so that they might bring home grown vegetables for the poor. They have a large number of volunteers all who can spare time to come out each day and make their gardens looks wonderful.
So there me and Amy were, next to these beautiful gardens, sitting in a plot of tall grass and well established weeds. The hippy girls with underarm hair were all very kind to us, and were very excited to see our plot being used.
Several hours and a lot of sweat later and we had hand pulled and raked nearly all of the major weeds. As the sun set, we packed it up and headed out for the day.
It was a few more days before we were able to make it back to the garden spot. What we thought was a lot of progress previously, now looked like a whole lot of work still until we could actually plant. We toiled until well past sunset, with large street lights guiding our way through the moonless night.
The plot looked about as good as we expected to get it and we planted some nice tomato and pepper plants.
This morning we headed out again, blocking off our plot with string, making nice squares in which to plan our garden. We planted squash, onions and carrots before we ran out of seeds. Amy bought some garlic, beans and herbs today and we hope to get back out tomorrow evening.
I anticipate many more hours of sweating, weeding, and toil before our hard work sees harvest. Yet it brings me a great deal of joy to look at a well sewn garden, knowing how good those vegetables will taste having come from my own hand.