Yesterday as a class we went to the community garden that one of our teachers is involved with. There were multiple plots there for many other families, and each one had the food that the family wanted. It was interesting to see how different people like different things as well as to learn that there are many different “secrets” to a healthy garden.
In Robyn’s plot we planted tomatoes, squash, corn, and even some flowers, and she had some wild garlic growing as well as some green onions. Within her plot she had some of the vegetables that she finds to be best for her and her family, as well as what was available at the store. In comparison to the other plots that we walked around to see, there were many different plants than what Robyn had chosen. Other people had big leaf plants growing, maybe to use in salads or they were the tops of radishes or turnips. I think that it’s interesting to see what some people want fresh from their own garden, while others are content with getting those things from the store. Now before this class the only connection I had to garden fresh produce was through my great Grandfather who had a big garden in his backyard. Now I can’t say I helped too much with it because I was pretty young and he liked his garden a certain way, but I do remember the fresh green beans that needed to be peeled to be ready to cook and how good they tasted. Today I’m proud to say that I like the idea of growing my own “preferred” vegetables, since I have been able to try other fresh vegetables.
The next thing I found to be interesting about the community garden was that you got to see different was that people went about trying to keep the weeds out. One woman, while we were there, was having the ground turned and just having the weeds turned with it, so the weed just became part of the soil. However, she did this using a gasoline powered tiller, which in some eyes might be counterproductive to the idea of a clean living, but to each their own. In another section we saw that someone had done a raised garden in one area of their plot. One reason to do that is to keep the weeds down, since you get the soil from a bag instead of what was there. For Robyn she likes to put down cardboard between the plants because it will keep the weeds down. Now it may look at first like a random dumping of trash compared to the other techniques but this uses a biodegradable substance and does not introduce new soil, with God knows what in it, into the existing soil, and it doesn’t use gas to pollute the air. So there are some good sides to going with cardboard instead of the easy and pretty way.