Every community garden is a little different from the other, but one thing binds us all together: the need to till the soil for the gardeners. There's not a lot you can do about the slope of the land, the shade caused by trees and neighboring buildings, rain or clouds, but every garden manager has to get their garden tilled each Spring. Anyone who has met me knows that I'm not big enough to till the SACG (or any other garden, for that matter). Lucky for me, I'm pathetic enough to pity.
Last year, Bill G from Canal Winchester drove to the SACG four times: First, to meet me and examine the garden; second to spray weed killer; third to till it so that we could remove the construction debris and finally to till in the compost which we spread over the Garden a year ago this upcoming weekend. He refused to tell me when he was coming, so there are no pictures; only urban legends.
This year, I was timid about asking Bill for such a big favor again. When Ms. Anthony heard that, she reached out to a quality guy she knew tilled his own large garden and he readily agreed to till the SACG for us. We had planned on last Thursday, but Elder Theodore came on Tuesday and then it rained on Thursday. So, we finally met yesterday and the sun shined on us. We picked up the rear-tined rototiller – which was loaned to us for free by Rebuilding Together's Tool Library at the corner of Fourth and Morris – just north of Bexley and just off Cassady Avenue. When I explained that I hoped that he would be done by 2:30 so that I could be on time for my meeting at the UWCO, Theodore pulled my leg and told me that he thought it would take him longer than that. I expressed surprise because, I told him, Bill did it in about two hours – even with all of that construction debris. The challenge laid down, Theodore likewise tilled our entire garden in about two hours. In addition, he cleaned up the tiller to sparkling condition so that when I returned it, the Tool Library employees extended their compliments and appreciation for a job well done.
We wouldn't be ready for planting today if it weren't for Theodore P, so he is the SACG Hero of the Day. He took the day off work from his home remodeling business to help us even though he is not gardening with us. Say hello if you see him around. We talked about what he likes to plant and he seemed fond of his butter beans and green tomatoes.
Luckily, there wasn't as much construction debris this year (since anyone who has seen our makeshift "curb" along Cherry Street can witness a lot of what we have dug out of the garden – and there's more underneath the rain barrels). However, there were still some bricks which floated to the surface during the tilling process. The kids next door thought it would be fun to tip toe through the garden and retrieved some of the bricks and stones for us. Some of these bricks and rocks are stacked near Betty's plot (in case you're curious what that stack is about). I would recommend that gardeners take advantage of the loose soil to remove the other obvious debris sticking up before the ground hardens again and you have to use a shovel.