Re: late into the garden
- Subject: Re: [cg] late into the garden
- From: Harmon Seaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 14:39:32 -0500
- Content-disposition: inline
Thanks -- this gives us some real points, especially the part about "year
round gardening" and perennials, etc. We've tried for years to get them to set
some of it aside for organic gardening (that "O" word really seems to upset
them), but maybe pushing the idea of asparagus and rasberry beds would get thru
On Mon, Jun 03, 2002 at 11:43:45AM -0400, Jack Hale wrote:
> My organization used to be almost that stupid. We were trying to help
> people by "doing it all" for them. Bad idea, but we were always afraid that
> the program would fall apart if we didn't do it. Sometimes we got tractors
> stuck in muddy ground trying to plow too early. Sometimes when we had a dry
> spring we plowed so early that the gardens were full of weeds by the time
> the "Memorial Day gardeners" showed up. People always complained. We could
> never get it right. Everyone had to admit, though, that the gardens really
> looked great when they were plowed and harrowed in the spring, and fall
> harrowing was a great way to guarantee that the gardens looked neat all
> winter. Neatness is a big consideration in the city.
> Nevertheless, we "got religion" and decided to allow people to set aside
> part of each garden site for "year round gardening." We wouldn't plow those
> plots, and people could plant early, harvest late, and include perennials
> and even dwarf fruit trees in those plots. The trade-off was that gardeners
> had to arrange their own soil improvements, and they had to take
> responsibility for keeping their space presentable.
> Unfortunately, we didn't exactly live happily ever after. The number of
> complaints went down, but some gardeners are just sloppy, so we now get
> complaints from non-gardeners about the appearance of some of our gardens.
> We now have given up plowing completely. People who want their plots tilled
> can arrange with us to do it, although sometimes we have a long waiting
> list. Those who don't like to wait can rent or borrow a tiller, or they can
> get somebody to do tilling for them. Most folks have figured out that you
> don't need to have big equipment working your soil, particularly if you take
> care of it. Lots of people are growing raspberries, and over-wintered
> garlic is big in some gardens. There is still some stress in our program,
> but we like this version better than the old one.
> Perhaps your "authorities" would be willing to try a gradual approach like
> this, testing the concept in a small part of your garden and then expanding
> it if it works. They could save a lot of time and money, if nothing else.
> Good luck.
> Jack Hale
> Executive Director
> Knox Parks Foundation
> 75 Laurel Street
> Hartford, CT 06106
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Harmon Seaver
> Sent: Saturday, June 01, 2002 10:33 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [cg] late into the garden
> We were only allowed into the community gardens this year last
> weekend, May 25. The excuse was that the ground was too wet to plow
> until then. Normally here peas, potatoes, and cabbage family should be
> planted by May 1st. Obviously the people who are running this, county
> employees, are not gardeners. We don't want them to plow at all in the
> first place. At least 95% of the gardeners are Hmong, most of whom go in
> and till up their plots with hoes anyway, and the rest either have
> rototillers or can rent one.
> Is anyone else having to deal with such ignorance, and what are
> they doing about it? We've tried reasoning with the powers that be, even
> serve on the "guidance committee" to which they pay absolutely no heed.
> Not only do they open the gardens too late, but they want to close them
> right after the first frost, totally ignoring the fact that many crops,
> especially root crops, keep right on growing, and shouldn't be harvested
> until much later. This is the first year, in fact, that we got them to
> stop applying chemical fertilizers, and allowing people to keep the same
> plot from year to year, however, it's very frustrating to build raised
> beds (what works best here in the heavy clay and what most Hmong do
> anyway) and then have them plowed away.
> I'm wanting to start writing letters to the editor, publicizing
> their stupidity, but my wife, who serves on the committee, wants to
> continue to try to reason with them -- but so far that fails to work.
> Has anyone been through this and know the answer?
> Harmon Seaver
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