A couple of weeks ago I spent an evening with one of my friends from college, and she took me to see her little plot of land she rents in her new neighborhood. It’s a square of railroad ties filled with soil, part of a community garden.
I read about community gardens on the internet once. They sounded magical and kind of weird. I read that there was a large piece of land behind a bunch of people’s houses in a neighborhood, and so everyone just started planting stuff. And only certain people could join in and if somebody didn’t show up to water their roses, well, somebody else had to water their roses for them. It didn’t sound like there was much order to the garden. People just showed up and planted things. It seemed like chaos and a new way for people to judge you: based on how often you came to the garden, or whether or not you chose to use Miracle-Gro.
It turns out maybe I have some issues.
You’ll notice I’m not linking to this article that I read about community gardens. That’s because, while I did read something on them, I really think I’m making half that stuff up. But really, that’s what I remember about my introduction to the concept of a community garden. But, it turns out, I was wrong about all that.
Yes there is a fairly large piece of land, and it is behind and beside a few houses in the neighborhood. But you don’t have to live in the neighborhood to take part, you just have to pay $40/year if you want an empty plot. Then you do what you want. You grow herbs or vegetables or flowers. They have compost there, water hoses and hookups to use too. You just plant what you want and get on with your life. And everybody has their own plot divided and separated from everyone else’s. So while it’s nice if everyone works to collectively make the entire garden look nice, really you’re responsible for your own plot and what you do or do not do with it is your business.
I now think community gardens are waaaaay cool. And my friend is excited to grow some more stuff once the oppressive Texas heat allows it. The Guns and I are interested in eventually moving to the neighborhood where this garden is, and I could see him wanting to grow tomatoes or something and deciding to get a plot. But we’ll have to file this under “Awesome things that I’ll never do” because I have no green thumbs. No green pinkies either. I mean, I’m pretty sure I never even grew lima beans in a damp paper towel in first grade like everyone else.
Do you garden? Would you ever participate in a community garden?