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Re: fences and neighbors/multicultural veggies

  • Subject: Re: [cg] fences and neighbors/multicultural veggies
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 14:50:41 EDT


As if  Don Boekeleheide's  sage community garden advice and humor weren't 
enough, he's a really fine writer.  

We need an ACGA garden listserve subscriber who lives close to Don, to prod 
him, in a friendly way - with a pitchfork if needed -  towards his PC on a 
regular basis. 

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman

<< Subj:     [cg] fences and neighbors/multicultural veggies
 Date:  5/23/03 12:56:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  dboekelheide@yahoo.com (Don Boekelheide)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    community_garden@mallorn.com
 Hi, all,
 Man, we are floating away down here! Never seen so
 much rain (heavenly tears since Carolinian Clay Aiken
 lost to Ruben Studdard, my wife says, but I'm not sure
 about that...). 
 Anyway, a good source for identifying tropical
 vegetables is H. D. Tindall's _Vegetables in the
 Tropics_. It has good descriptions, cultural advice
 and names in lots of languages. 
 I second Adam's caution that 'Vietnam' and 'Sudan' are
 political entities, not language or cultural
 groupings. Many Vietnamese 'Montagnards' (a European
 catchall term for tribal peoples, something like
 'Indian' in North America - there are roughly 40
 different peoples among the Montagnards, each with a
 distinct language and culture) have a very uneasy
 relationship with ethnic Vietnamese, whom they accuse
 of practicing ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation
 - more to the point, many Montagnards don't speak
 Vietnamese. Here's a helpful site:
 Another group you may find mislabeled Vietnamese or
 Cambodian are the Hmong, also mountain people of
 Southeast Asia.
 Sudan is likewise a quilt of different nations.
 About fences, two of the most interesting and
 attractive CGs in Charlotte are not fenced. One is
 very attractively laid out, right in front of a high
 rise subsidized public residence for seniors. The
 other is a garden for the homeless, who are excluded
 after hours by a high fence from the day services
 facility and soup kitchen next door, but have 24/7
 access to the garden. I'm not sure why these have done
 well so far (both are only a couple of years old). We
 don't have moose in Charlotte, that helps <:). There
 is strong community 'buy in' and a sense of community
 ownership, and in the homeless garden the harvest
 belongs to all, so people are free to forage at will.
 Other local CGs done with 'chain link around the
 vacant lot' are about as inviting as concentration
 camps, especially during the winter. I have seen good
 looking gardens with fences, though, like Adam's in
 A few suggestions - If you have a fence, grow
 something on it (cukes, 'maters, roses, lablab
 beans...) and grow flowers along it to soften the
 look. Don't assume chainlink is the only choice,
 consider varied fencing materials, including recycled
 wood or stone, or a living fence. Make a nice looking
 gate. And use eco-psychology. Charles Long in _How to
 survive without a salary_ has a funny story about how
 a ripe pile of manure ended problems with kids fooling
 around in his urban garden, after a perp put his foot
 in it. Tell stories - there might be some snakes in
 that compost pile, you never know...
 Good luck. Fences have their pros and cons, but they
 represent a big budget item, too.
 Don Boekelheide
 Charlotte, NC

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