Unfortunately, what I had imagined in my head and what actually existed in reality were two very different things. I was quite confused when I saw the community garden space for the first time. There were no individual plots. It was just one huge mass of neglected vegetables. The lettuce had gone to seed, the rhubarb had seen better days, the cucumbers were a tangled mess. However, there was a sign on the deer fence that surrounded the plot, saying new garden committee members were always welcome. I filed that information away until this spring, and last week I went to the first meeting of the year.
Now I understand. It's a communist garden. Individual plots don't exist. The planting is done as a group. Weeding and basic maintenance are done on an "as needs" basis, and committee members can harvest the vegetables during the growing season whenever they want. Then in September whatever is left gets picked and the committee has a group dinner. In my head I'm now calling it the Karl Marx Meal.
This morning we met to do our first planting. The garden is tucked away in a corner of the property by the pond. It's just behind that half-dead tree in the centre of the picture.
It was actually a lot of fun getting together and working up the soil and planting the early crops like spinach, lettuce and onions. The best discovery of the morning was seeing the asparagus bed. It's now in its third year and it looks like it is going to be a bumper crop. There's a still a part of my brain that can't wrap itself around this communist gardening thing though. How does it work with the asparagus? If I take as much as I want there won't be a single spear left for anyone else on the committee. But what if, out of a sense of group fairness, we all hold back and the asparagus doesn't get picked? It would be a crime to see it go to waste. Here's a close-up shot of the communist plot (pun intended).
There has been some capitalist gardening as well. This past week I went to the garden store and came home with these goodies.
I miss all the lavender I had in Kamloops, so decided I needed some here at our cottage. This variety is called Phenomenal, and I was told it lives up to its name.
This is the thing I am most excited about. I have wanted raspberries forever. When I talked to Brian Minter at the Minter Country Garden Store he suggested I get something called Raspberry Shortcake. It's an everbearing thornless raspberry that is a bush rather than a cane. I have planted three and can't wait to see if they actually produce berries this summer.
There's more big gardening news, but I'm saving it for another post. This gardening season is going to be an interesting experiment. The garden committee members are all really nice, but honesty forces me to admit that I'm sure glad I don't have to share my raspberries with them.