Blueberries, Carrots, and Community Gardens

2 Jul

It’s already the beginning of July, and the community garden is growing and growing. Our blueberries are turning blue, more raspberries are ripening every day, and I’ve been snacking on the snap peas along the fence every time I work. The carrots are carroting, green tomatoes and eggplant flowers are starting to appear, and the bush beans we planted last week are sprouting. I’m almost overwhelmed by the prospect of harvesting it all later.

Most of the work that’s going into the garden right now is weeding and watering, but there are other projects happening too. We’ve been staking the tomatoes the past few weeks, and spreading woodchips- made from the hedges that just got taken down outside of Northrop and Gillett- in between beds and along pathways. There’s an area around our picnic table and bench that’s planted with grass right now, and soon I’m hoping to choose a new, lower-maintenance ground cover and plant it there. We’ll also be planning a farmstand to sell our produce later in the summer!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of being connected to where our food comes from. I was talking about the garden with some friends, and I realized that until recently, I had absolutely no sense of when different foods were in season. The produce in the supermarket was always mass- produced, shipped from far away, and the same quality and price regardless of whether it was December or the middle of the summer. I didn’t even know what most of the things I ate looked like when they were growing, and I definitely had no idea where in the world they came from. Food was a product I purchased, something that was completely outside of my understanding or control. Becoming involved with the community garden has completely changed that. Now I’ve eaten things that I seeded and transplanted and watered myself, and I’m going to be doing that more and more. Making that knowledge available makes food production less mysterious and disconnected. Having a resource like the garden means that anyone can come share and learn the skills they need to grow food, and participate in that process.

Laura Sheys ’13

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