Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Preparing for the Gardening Season in a Community Garden

Today, in upstate New York, it reached a balmy 55 degrees F (almost 12 degrees C). By Friday it should be in the 60's.

Spring has arrived.  The gardener's thoughts in the Northern United States turn to the spring garden.  In the South, the growing season is already in progress.

As we rent two community garden spaces in Otsiningo Park, in Binghamton, New York, we have to wait for the county to plow the gardens before we can plant. This usually doesn't happen until early May, which makes it dificult to grow some of the early crops such as peas and spinach.  But, there is still enough we can plant.
Why community garden? For us, it is because we have limited space at our house.  For others, though, it may be a necessity- for example, for people living in apartments, renting houses, or in other housing situations.

You meet the most interesting fellow gardeners, and you might even meet a dinosaur.

We have rented plots in this community garden for years, but changes may be coming - a post for a future time.


This year, we ordered some seeds from a new (to us) seed catalog- Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds.  
A co worker had told me about them last year, after we had already purchased our seeds.  This year, we are giving them a try with six seed packets.  A seventh packet, for wild garlic, was already out of stock.
Bakers Creek says their catalog is the largest in this country, at some 350 pages.  I believe it.  The photography is stunning and the selection is impressive. 


These are our trial seeds.  We especially look forward to trying the Chinese Red Noodle bean.
These are some of the most beautiful seed packets we have ever seen (especially if you ignore my blurry photography).

I have only one complaint about Baker Creek.  Ordering online, which I would have preferred to do, was difficult.  We ended up placing the order after several glitches and the website warned us they were having problems.  Sure enough, our order never went through online. After all, we had to write out a second, by hand, order, and mail it in.  That order, though, did come promptly.

Do you garden?  If so, are you preparing for your gardening season?

18 comments:

  1. Interesting. I have never been into gardening, but it is one of those things that I've always wondered if I would enjoy. I have HEARD of community gardens, but didn't really know what they were about. (Renting plots?) Anyway, I learned something today. Maybe one day I will be inspired to start a garden of my own (I live in the desert now, though, so probably not the wisest choice), but until then, it's posts like this that I learn from. ;)

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    1. Gardening in the desert is hard, but there are people who do it sucessfully. I don't know if I would be one of them - it would be quite a learning curve for me. Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. I don't garden, but I love the idea of a community garden. I live in an apartment. Good luck with yours!

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    1. Thank you - appreciate your good wishes!

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  3. I really admire those who garden, my mom always made one at every home we lived in, and it was ice to have fresh flowers and organic fruits right outside!

    www.fredafro.com

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    1. Wonderful having a garden growing up. Sounds like you have a lot of fond memories.

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  4. Periodically, I get into gardening, but it's always just flowers. In fact, I was looking at my garden the other day and thinking that I need to move some plants (shrubs), which are starting to bloom, and replace them with some pretty flowers (more flower, less shrub).

    I have found that there are few things that help relieve stress like digging in dirt and beautifying my little corner of the world.

    I, too, have heard about community gardens, but I never knew you had to rent plots.

    Thanks for reminding me how calming gardening can be.

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    1. Yes, at the community garden you have to rent plots - in some, like ours, you can keep the same plots year and after year. We did, previously, garden at one where you couldn't keep the same plot - but always, there was an annual charge.

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  5. Awesome!! This is a great information on Gardening.. Would love to explore it. I am new to seeds and gardening but will read more often about this..

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    1. There are a lot of wonderful gardening blogs ready to teach you all about gardening. Good luck!

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  6. In England, we call these gardens 'allotments'. It's a tradition left over from WW2, when food was scarce. No imports arrived with the enemy patrolling the seas. Every spare piece of land was ploughed to feed the nation. I only discovered the other day that the American's saved the British people from starvation with their generous food gifts and imports.

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    1. I'm not sure if our community gardens came from our World War II gardens in the States (we called them "victory gardens") but our food rationing, or our World War II experience (obviously) was nothing like yours.

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  7. I garden indoors with hydroponics...
    But, I may be tempted during Pesach to start an outside garden with my grandson...

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    1. That would be a wonderful grandfather/grandson activity.

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  8. Have fun gardening, Alana! Baker Creek is one of my favorite seed companies, but I agree about the website. It needs some tweaking, to be sure!

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    1. I'll have fun when the time comes - and I do need to blog about gardening more often. I keep getting distracted....

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  9. I would be tempted to try a community garden since it would allow me to interact with other gardeners and learn what works and what doesn't. And provide some ambition to follow through - sort of like joining a gym... lol.

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    1. It can be a wonderful social experience, depending on who is gardening with you. We are fortunate to have a wonderful next door garden plot neighbor, an older man from Asia who is a skilled gardener who even has shared some plant starts with my spouse. But we've also had people who start gardens and then abandon them to the weeds after a handful of weeks - ugh.

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