flower pot, and my plot. I fertilized the seedlings (which were sprouting from being planted last Saturday). I also weeded all of the above (except the middle food pantry plot) and reorganized the shed. I also groused about how few of the gardeners seem to be harvesting their produce or weeding. Neal hasn’t weeded the strawberry patch yet, even though it’s been his weekly chore for August and September. Sigh. Mari has let tomatoes and zucchini rot in her plot. Double sigh. Rayna’s plot is covered in bind weed. However, Amy rode over on her bike, weeded her plot and a little of the center flower bed and blueberry bushes and then harvested tomatoes peppers and bush beans from the middle food pantry plots before riding away with her hubby. I reloaded our free little library (after a little boy stopped by and found nothing to his liking). I then turned to our weekly food pantry harvest in the remaining food pantry plots and harvested from my own plot. I also pinched tomato flowers because we are nearing the end of their growing season and picked up litter which had been dumped or blown onto our lot in the past week. Then, it’s back to my house to weigh our food pantry harvest, record it and head over to the food pantry before it closes. Our pole beans seem to be on their last legs, but I found some more volunteer napa cabbage and bok choy in my plot (which was a delight).
To give you just one example of how unbelievably unrealistic this request is, many of my gardeners won't even write down the new combinations for our shed. Before all of our break-ins this year, I used to have one combination that opened our gates and our shed. But with our new security system (which I am not going to describe), the gardeners now need to remember three combinations to get into the Garden and into the shed. Even though most of them have college degrees, this has been too much work for them. Instead, I have received complaints about how they can no longer weed or water their plots because it is too difficult to get into the shed. (Time consuming, yes, I agree. Significantly more difficult? Not really if you would simply go to the trouble of writing down the information or putting it into your phone). But they have objected to three combinations despite the obvious need for a stronger security system to protect our assets.
I also want to acknowledge that the City and Conservatory have been very helpful to us over the years and I'm not one of those community garden leaders that constantly bitches about how much more they should be doing. (While Columbus may not compare well to Cleveland, we're still miles ahead of Toledo, Cincinnati and Louisville, etc.). I'm a glass half-full kinda girl most of the time. The City gave us the funds to buy our large rain tank in 2010. They are loaning us another. They refilled part of tank for us last year and may do so again next month. They bought our picnic table and have given us soil amendments. Bill and the Conservatory (and Fiona, too) have given us seeds, replaced some of our stolen tools this summer, gave us our two benches and some compost, too. We have greatly appreciated their support. However, I won't be taking anything else from the City if it means I have to take on more work as they are now suggesting. It's not a hard decision, really.