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Fwd: Google Alert - community gardening

  • Subject: [cg] Fwd: Google Alert - community gardening
  • From: adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 07:51:34 -0500

Friday, January 27, 2006

Sharing seeds, weeds and information
By Libba Wolfe
Down to Earth

Our son Rob and his wife, Judy, are our urban children. They live in a condo in Washington, D.C. They have the bus and metro schedules memorized. They know the secret parking spaces and when to switch lanes to speed through Georgetown. They are also farmers.
Rob and Judy pay $10 a year for a 20-by-20-foot plot in the community garden across the street from their building. Last summer, like all backyard farmers, they ate tomatoes three times a day, froze some, gave tomatoes as gifts and wondered if it would ever end.
There are 220 plots in the 4-acre project. It's full of flowers, herbs and vegetables. One woman has a tiny terrace of concrete blocks and one comfy chair where she reads her paper on sunny mornings. There are trellises covered in flowering vines or beans, stone paths, fences of every variety. When I visited it, there was a hum of gardening conversation -- questions, advice and lots of bragging.
Rob and Judy made new friends, learned which tomatoes they really love and that they didn't have to plant quite so many for a bountiful harvest. They had a grand time becoming part of a gardening village.
"Village" is a word that came up often when I met earlier this week with Pete Johnson and Sean Jordan of Grandin Gardens. They have big plans for the big blue house next door to the Grandin Road Post Office.
Pete and Sean believe in the value of a village and in community gardening. They believe in starting from the ground up (pun intended) to build community pride and unity. They have twelve garden plots leased and a waiting list for more. They believe that getting folks in contact with their neighbors and with nature is a transformative experience. Who can eat a pale, rock-hard tomato picked a month ago in South America and argue with them about the superiority of fresh, seasonal, backyard food?
Their plans include gardening education and demonstrations. Later this spring they'll have classes on how to grow food in containers on your porch or in the weedy square foot at the end of the driveway.
I've got friends who are members of worldwide seed exchanges. It's fun to try new things but some of these seeds are very finicky. Eight days at one temperature, six at another, high light, semidarkness -- and that's all before germination. They take more tending than a new baby.
Pete and Sean have a simpler plan. Plant seeds. Harvest the seeds from the very best plants. Share them. Next year do the same. Back and forth for a few seasons, and we can develop what Sean calls "our own land race" -- vegetables and flowers that are perfectly suited for Roanoke.
Until their seed bank is in full swing, we'll have to stick to the catalogs. At 2 p.m. Sunday, there'll be a seed meeting at Grandin Gardens and you're invited. They'll be ordering seeds in bulk and you can save some bucks. But the best part will be the conversation, questions and advice. Maybe some bragging. It never hurts to find out what works for your neighbors. Go to grandingardens.com for details.
The idea of community gardening and gardening communities is exciting. There are thousands of ways -- 42,900 when I Googled it -- to run one. It all comes down to sharing some dirt, some knowledge and some fun. I hadn't realized my Dad was a community garden pioneer when he gave a neighbor a piece of our back yard. They tilled and planted, weeded and harvested on the weekends. It was a village of two kicking back with a cold one and arguing about whose tomatoes were better.

(C)2006 The Roanoke Times

-----Original Message-----
From: Google Alerts <googlealerts-noreply@google.com>
To: Adam36055@aol.com
Sent: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 00:38:41 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Google Alert - community gardening

Google Alert for: community gardening 
Sharing seeds, weeds and information
Roanoke Times - Roanoke,VA,USA
... Pete and Sean believe in the value of a village and in community gardening. ... The idea of community gardening and gardening communities is exciting. ... 

Gardening Notes |
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA
... required by Jan. 30). Franklinville Community Center, 1584 Coles Mill Rd., Franklinville; 856-694-2833. Phil Normandy, plant-collections ... 

Classes, Seminars and Workshops
2theadvocate.com - Baton Rouge,LA,USA
... BATON ROUGE SYMPHONY & THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS: Pre-school music ... oil painting, Tales of the Far East, The Silk Road, gardening, lifewriting, Bible ... 

East Bay Briefings
Providence Journal (subscription) - Providence,RI,USA
... The series will be led by community services librarian Lauri Burke. ... Blithewold gardening class: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum will offer a three-part ... 

Home and Garden briefs - 1/27/2006
North County Times - Escondido,CA,USA
... HOMEBUYER CLASSES: Faith Based Community Development Corp ... pm CNPS members will be available to help you choose plants and give free native plant gardening advice ... 

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The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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