Saturday, May 16, 2015

Local Saturday - The Community Gardening Hour

It's been a while since I've blogged about our plots at the Community Garden in Otsiningo Park, just to the north of Binghamton, New York.

What is a community garden, anyway? 

It's simple: "Any piece of land gardened by a group of people."

We rent plots by the season from an association. We are given a marked out plot, and the right to garden on it, and access to water.  We also get our plots plowed in the spring.  We can't begin until early May (late even for our climate) and must be out by the end of October.

 Our gardening must be done by various rules.  The hope was to have the gardens fully organic by now, but I believe that has been put on hold. We are also allowed to keep our own plots year after year if we register before a certain date.  We've had one gardening neighbor, a skilled gardener, for many years.  He is an immigrant from Asia, and I am amazed at the work he puts into his plot.

We came close to not having a community garden this year but, at least for now, we are here.  The garden was supposed to be taken for parking for a new year round farmers market, but the farmers market is going to have to be built elsewhere.  Win one, lose one.

So, we are here with two garden plots for this year.

And, what is "here"?

"Here" are volunteer sunflower seedlings. We could practically start a commercial sunflower business, if it was permitted.  Something eats sunflowers at our house.  At our community garden, we don't even have to plant them.

"Here" are something that looks like weeds but they aren't. This past week, spouse (who does about 95% of the gardening work) has put in onion plants.  Our garden is perfect for onions. Hopefully we will have another bumper crop this year.

Another bumper crop we grow is rocks, and if anyone needs rocks or stones, please email me and I'll tell you where our plot is.
Today, spouse turned soil over, raked it out, removed the bigger rocks, smoothed it, and created raised beds.

Meantime, the gardening neighbor drove up, parked, and came over offering a number of lettuce seedlings.  He starts his own, and, sometimes, shares with us.  This year we will enjoy his bounty of lettuce.

We both planted the lettuce.

Do you want to learn more about our community garden?  Feel free to comment below.  If there is any related gardening topic you want to learn more about, I'll be happy to share our knowledge from almost forty years of gardening.

Gardening can be frustrating and sweaty but it can also be so rewarding.  If you don't have a plot of land, community gardening may be your answer. 

Do you garden?


  1. I used to have a garden in the backyard with my mom but she's given up as she has gotten older. It definitely tastes better when you grow your own.

  2. Here in England, we call community gardens allotments. Each person rents an area to grow plants in. We have one just up the street, set back from the road fumes. They were first developed during WW2, when our island was cut off from the rest of the world and couldn't import any food. Every scrap of land was converted for growing food, including the gardens of large estates.

  3. Community gardening sounds interesting! I try to maintain a small flower garden at the corners of the house by the entryway. One side has full sun most of the day, and the other side mostly shade. I also have wind chimes as a backdrop.


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