Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Closing the Community Garden

This was our first year creating a community garden, and will be our last year at this location.

This fertile garden space is soon to become a parking lot for the expanding health care clinic.
The bulldozer is coming soon to dig it all up and level it for 20 parking spaces.

We are busy digging up rhubarb and asparagus to transplant in different locations.

Everyone is sad that this particular magical, fertile garden of the late, great Dr Harry Rowe will come to an end.

Its been a learning experience and an extremely successful project.

This 100 x 40 foot garden fed dozens of people in 3 villages plus supplied the local food shelf with fresh food every Tuesday.

We are still harvesting kale by the ton, broccoli and lettuce too.

With Tropical Storm Karen about to impact New England with several days of rain, I thought it prudent to take down the fencing and start to organize the garden for its final closure.

One final look before we start taking it all apart:

A few photos of the broc and kale. The tomato plants have already been unstaked, pulled up and put on the massive compost pile.

The asparagus ferns sway gently in the wind.

The garage for the health clinic is on stilts and we use the underneath as a garden shed.

My garden friend, Mev, helped me take the zip line off the insulators as I rolled the 5 strands up.

It was the most time consuming since the last 2 lines were buried in the tall grass and weeds. Pulling it all out was a back pulling experience.

Of course I remembered to shut the solar charger OFF before we attempted this.

I hate black plastic.  I hate it even more when people who had plots move away and leave it behind.
Plastic is hard to pull up when it is covered with tall grass, soil, giant weeds and "other stuff."

We stuffed 2 plastic trash bags full of black plastic.

There will be a NO PLASTIC rule at the next garden.   Grain bags, mulch and cardboard only to keep the weeds down.

Other plot owners came down and cleaned their plots, down to the soil, this weekend.

I took apart the solar charger and took it off the post and collected all the wooden stakes we used to mark off garden spaces and  the asparagus beds.

The garden shed was starting to get filled up with poles, tomato cages and other garden items.
Everything will be stored here until we find another location for the next community garden.

I am so glad we chose the finberglass posts and insulators. It was easy to put them up, move them around and take them down and store away when we were done.

They were 100% effective against the deer, woodchucks, bear, neighborhood dogs and rabbits.

I had to pull off the special cedar post corner insulators before I pulled the heavy posts out of the ground.

Mavis supervised.

I stacked the posts on the gate as I went.
I only took down half the fence so that it would send the message that we were "still gardening" and not to bulldoze it yet.

This is Dr Rowe's chair.
He was the last of the old fashioned horse and buggy rural doctors in this state.  He would sit here and take a breather from his busy gardening chores.
He died last year at age 99, just a month short of his 100th birthday.  He would of been 101 on October 4th, the day I started closing the garden.
It was his death and his families big yard sale last September that started the idea for a possible community garden to continue his 80 year tradition of feeding those who needed food.

It was a lot of work with many disappointments and anxiety about the crazy weather and fear of bulldozers coming in August, but it took shape and grew.

 Senior Independent housing is on the side of the garden and most of the residents were recipients of vegetables from the garden.  Especially the rhubarb and tomatoes!

Today the rest of fencing came down and now only the gate needs to be carefully dismantled and the cedar posts delivered to the farmer who gave them to us and then the garden is 90% closed.

Still harvesting what we can and praying we can find another location within walking distance of the village.

Really looks different without the fencing!

I have my eye on a nice piece of possible garden space on the side lawn at the local Catholic church.
I made a phone call to one of their church members and should hear back soon if its a GO or not.
Please say a little prayer that the church allows us to use the yard space. Its half the size of this garden, but will still feed many many people.


  1. they paved paradise and put up a parking lot!

  2. Shame you lost your community garden but stay positive about getting a new one and improving on what you had. All that asparagus looked like you had a good crop!

  3. Our church (Lutheran) started a community garden on some of the property. Seemed so appropriate. Maybe a local church would let yo all do that. Our local community college also has a community garden.

  4. all that work, and now it's gone. But at least you had an excellent first year, and have the supplies on hand for the next garden. I sure hope you can find a permanent place!