What We Learned this Summer at Our Community GardenDec 11, 2020 - By Alexis, Christine, Emily, Kim, Len, Marie, Moto
Once all of the hard work of building our garden in June and July was done and we had finally sown our garden and planted young seedlings on July 20th, the fun just continued. Here are a few things that we learned through this experience:
Alexis was reminded of how much she enjoys working in the ground and growing her own food, and teaching folks how to garden; that she needs to work on her own abilities so as to pass along the best information; and that gardening is such a personal thing.
Christine learned that green beans are much more difficult to harvest than yellow ones, because they are so difficult to see; beet greens are exquisitely delicious to eat in sautéed garlic and onions with some red pepper flakes and just a wee bit of salt; and carrot tops are edible and can be turned into pesto and other delicious dishes all packed with good nutrients!
Emily learned how rewarding it is to plant a seed and watch it grow; so heartbreaking to watch a plant struggle; and that the food you grow is sooooo delicious!
Kim learned that nature was smarter and far more talented than us, considering the late date at which we sowed our seeds. Although we had agreed that this season would just allow us to gain practice for the next season … what happiness and what a great surprise to have been able to harvest from all of our plants! Kim always thought that carrot tops and beet leaves were rabbit food, but since tasting them, she now knows that rabbits have long been outsmarting us. And, her trick of planting forks in the ground, the tips in the air to keep squirrels away from the plants? … Well, it turns out that on the contrary, it gave them the message that the table is set and that there is nothing left to do but to serve themselves!
Len observed that garden plots grow as differently as gardeners’ personalities.
Marie learned that there is a better use for autumn’s fallen leaves than putting them in the recycle bins: they are the perfect ‘blanket’ for our garden plots as we ‘put them to bed’, an end of October activity, which allowed us to spend some time together again. Marie also learned that we can plant Egyptian onions and garlic in the fall and that they will survive the winter and give us some delicious greenery in the spring. She is looking forward to the coming planting season to keep learning new stuff!
Moto learned that green tomatoes at the end of the season should not be thrown out! She had four big green tomatoes sitting on her kitchen counter, which finally turned red after a few weeks and … were delicious!
And we all learned that gardening as a group is lots of fun, a great way to meet others in the neighbourhood and a definite source of joy for everyone involved directly or as interested observers and supporters. We are looking forward to a regular gardening season with our seed planting sometime in May 2021, with new gardeners Noëlla and Denyse joining us. To view our garden, which is now ‘sleeping’, walk along the pathway running along the south-east end of the Emmanuel Apostolic Church (3347 McCarthy Rd) next to the condo complex.