So the university that I am going to has a couple of different community gardens where you can rent a plot each semester, and all of them had waiting lists when I first started looking in the spring, but now my number has come up and I have my own garden plot! The normal plot sizes are 12′ by 25′ but I opted for a half-plot, so mine will be closer to 12′ by 12′, which will be plenty of room since I have never done in ground or really regular outside gardening at all. At first I think I will start with the Square Foot Gardening method and probably do two different 4′ by 4′ square foot gardens, just to try to keep it manageable but still more natural than container gardening, and then perhaps try a mini row or two in the ground as well. Then next summer I will probably try some corn, since everyone else at the co-op seems to have grown it this summer (which means I get to pull out the dried up old corn stalks in my plot next time I go out there, yay!). Anyway, without further ado, I give you a picture of my lovely little plot before and after they mowed some of the previous renters’ plants down.
It’s a bit different from container gardening that’s for sure! I have been reassured by many members of the co-op, however, that this is just what high summer is like and it is actually manageable during the rest of the year. Thankfully since today was a work day for the co-op, where we mowed all the paths, etc, they took a mower to most of it, so now it looks like this:
The corn on the right hand side marks a border, and the wooden post in the middle marks the corner of the other side, so I still have to as I said, rip out the corn, but also remove the plants in front of the post that didn’t get mowed (because there are stakes and other things in there, I think there were peppers and eggplants in there before it became a jungle). Everyone at the co-op was super nice, and it will be a bargain, at $12.50 to have this plot until then end of December, including free water, use of tools, some free seeds, compost, and some manure (though right now there isn’t any, so I will probably be scooping up a couple of bags out at the barn this weekend 🙂 ). As I was leaving, the plot coordinator gave me a huge eggplant that was grown by one of the gardeners on her plot. I have never had eggplant, so I will be experimenting with cooking that tonight. It sounds like a lot of things that I haven’t ever eaten or sometimes even heard of grow really well here, so it will be an adventure!
That’s all for now, but look later in the week for the saga of me trying (and most likely failing) to make a pretty apron for working at my fabulous new job (I am a kitchen assistant at a cookie bakery)!