Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Day in the Garden

Today was the official opening day of the Community Garden here in Pownal, Vt. This is the second year I've taken on this project and it has proved very rewarding in many ways, not the least of which are spending time in the dirt with new friends.

We have gardeners ranging in age from 2 to 76, using more than 7,000 square feet of former town green. It's a beautiful spot, right adjacent to busy U.S. Route 7, which gives us plenty of visibility to residents and visitors.

One project we're undertaking this year is a demonstration plot for intensive container and vertical gardening for those in town who either have no space for a traditional garden - such as those living in mobile homes - or for the elderly. Our normal plots are 12 by 24 feet, and that's a lot of garden.

A couple of weeks ago, I cobbled up a bunch of miscellaneous containers and bought a bunch of cinder blocks. As you can see in the photos, it doesn't take a lot of square feet to begin growing some good healthy food. To date, I've got radishes, three kinds of onions, carrots, beets, lettuce, Swiss chard, summer squash, peas, pole beans and cucumbers breaking through. I'll let you know how things progress.

For me, this was "Tiller Day," horsing around a really nice machine for about four hours. The number of hours translates exactly to the number of Tylenols I've had to take so far to get my fingers working on the keyboard. Can't wait to try to swing a golf club tomorrow morning......

So, for the gardener in you, or for the friend who loves to till the soil, here are some neat garden-oriented items to check out:

Top left, Garden Journal to keep all those important records, such as how many rocks you have to move each year. Top right, "Pamela's Garden" accordian file with 21 pockets to keep you super-organized from Aster to Zucchini. Bottom left, a lovely personalized calling card to announce to all your dirty addiction. And, bottom right, a flower print limon and raspberry folded note to write a thank-you to your neighbor for lending you that bottle of Tylenol. Happy Gardening!

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