Sunday, April 8, 2012

SACG Impromptu Work Marathon or Boys and Their Toys

We did not schedule a work day yesterday at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden, but that doesn't mean that a whole lotta work did not get done. Much of that work involved power tools and was mostly a male-bonding kinda day.

Earlier this week, a slew of neighborhood kids came by, helped me water new flower seedlings and to pull winter crops out of the ground.

On Friday, Frank and a friend worked on stabilizing our front and back gates. The Box Family worked on moving wood chips and flipping compost. Then, Fred and Frank planned to till the Garden yesterday.

On Saturday, I got there first and began weeding the front flower bed. Then Fred and Frank got there and got to work. Tilling the Garden takes about two hours and is positively exhausting. No one has wanted to do it two years in a row. (Just ask Bill, Ted and Charlie). I wish they'd each just till an hour. When the Garden is freshly tilled, the soil is all fluffy and it's like walking on a sandy beach.

Rayna came to dig her winter crops (i.e., leeks, garlic, onions, oregano, etc.) out of the way. I then moved to saving more raspberry seedlings to transplant along our north fence. Rayna and I then began transplanting raspberry seedlings. Adam came and took over my job weeding the front flower bed. When Fred was done tilling the Garden, I watered in seedlings and began measuring and marking off the plots. That's when I realized that my blood sugar was too low to be rational and I went home to eat something. (Rayna beat me to this decision by an hour). Fred moved on to till the backyard garden of Mrs. D who was at the time trying to use her hand cultivator to break the hard ground.

Frank came back and was joined by two non-gardening friends who helped him rebuild the front and back gates. (Last year, some "creative" produce thieves unscrewed the latch out of the back gate when they couldn't unlock it. Yet Frank is more clever, removed the latch, and fixed it so that the sliding mechanism now goes straight into the wood support beams).

Mari and Charlie came by (and Fred returned) to go through our newly donated seeds. Rayna went through them as well. Mari and John then bagged up some of our excess wood chips for their house. They had help from some neighborhood boys who love shoveling so much that they routinely create excuses to shovel the chips – even just to move them from pile to pile. I was also able to convince John (and artist) to repair our lovely, yet flaking front sign. Sadly, the original artist, Dwain, has moved back to the East Coast along with his beloved dog. Then, I lined the path around my plot with bricks.

Rayna and I then moved to replant items (like cilantro) that we had moved out of the way during the tilling process. Gladys stopped by after church. When I showed her where her plot would be, she seemed overwhelmed. So, I told her about the new platform raised beds we would be building. She was so excited. I then showed her what work she and her grandsons could do before our next work day.

Rayna and I discussed building some raised beds for the kids and the 4-H club and making the small bed near the front gate an herb garden.

Barb came by before and after the Block Watch meeting to add moral support. Frank and his crew had just finished the back gate and were breaking for "lunch" when I left around 4.


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