Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Free At Last!

That's how I feel, anyway, after spending 4 months trying to clear my account at my local diabolical library. Today I was able to walk in there with my head held high and check out books on my own - no need to be debriefed by the librarian about which items are still missing and how many overdue fines I still need to pay. My account wasn't "blocked," my fine was at an acceptable level (you didn't think I would have nothing to pay whatsoever, did you?), and no one looked at me as though they wanted fingerprints.

If our country ever turns into a police state, I swear, those librarians will be the first on board. Don't mess with 'em.

2 years ago, it seemed to me to be a good idea to rent an organic community garden plot down the road from our house. You can read about that here. Although we have had 2 relatively unsuccessful growing seasons (for which we pay 48 dollars each), hope springs eternal in my plant-killing breast; so I insisted that Larry cough up the cash yet again this year for our rather unproductive piece of earth. Being a wise man, he complied; he knows better than to try to confront me with reality.

I didn't manage to get out there in February, as I had planned, and clear out all the dead weeds before they sprang to life again; after all, it is an entire half mile down the road. So, when the children and I arrived at the plot in late April, we were greeted by a scene reminiscent, say, of an Amazonian jungle. I'm surprised there weren't monkeys swinging from weedtop to weedtop. After some effort, we were able to locate the approximate locations of the 6 planting boxes my husband had so lovingly installed for me back in 2006; and we proceeded to hack our way through the undergrowth (where is a machete when you need one, anyway?) in order to clear some space for planting. No poison allowed, remember - these are organic plots.

So now, after several sessions of weed pulling and soil-turning, we have 2 (count them, 2) 4x4 boxes cleared of weeds, surrounded by a sea of unwanted (but organic) vegetation (including a couple of small trees). The compost pile is in there somewhere. I had a picture to show you, but now Blogger isn't letting me upload any more images. I'll try to add it later.





This is not our plot. It is one of the gardens near ours. They are all, apparently, green-thumb overachievers. And we are the white trash of the community garden plot world.





I wish I could show you the other pictures. One garden has a grape arbor in it. Another has a small pond and cute little figurines. Ours has a trash bag, some old windows I dreamed of making into a cold frame, and a forgotten bag of topsoil. And the weeds, of course. Our gardening neighbors must hate us. In an eco-friendly way, of course...

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30 comments:

  1. "White trash of the community garden plot world." I love it. I won't tell you what we paid for our CSA. We're not doing it this summer because kids are no longer allowed in the garden. I'm pretty bummed.

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  2. You could come garden at my place any time. I wouldn't even charge you. We have free horse poo for soil enrichment, you could use weed killer if (when)you needed to and you wouldn't noticeably stand out in your white trashy ways.

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  3. My kids wanted to plant a garden again this year. I got out the rototiller and dug up an area big enough for a few rows of corn and some pumpkins. They grow fast enough to survive my lack of weeding. Now, which area of my yard outside the fenced in play yard should I plant my stuff in? You know, the lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, stuff that can be easily squished before it is a recognisable size? I have 2 other area that were previously gardens, but they are so close to the fence that I can't easily use the tiller. This means real work. Maybe I'll just plant the stuff in my flowerbeds.

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  4. Sigh.

    I am so missing my garden now.

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  5. But do you have any car parts, toilets, or a small fridge stocked with beer in your garden? No? You're still a few steps away from white trash. ;)

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  6. Aahh to be able to plant things to live and not to die...alas, I have a black thumb. So, I love stories of gardeners. Even ones with machetes.

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  7. Ah, a kindred spirit in the gardening world. Sounds like most of my gardening efforts. Hoping this year turns out better, but we did something smart this year. We are starting our garden from plants rather than seed.

    Two years ago, we started it from seed and I couldn't tell the veggies from the weeds. So I let them all grow until they flowered. Which ended up with quite a weed bed and some miserable looking plants.

    Not to mention that I'm still not sure which are my herbs and which are my weeds.

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  8. dana - my plan exactly. The farmers' market opens this Saturday and I'm going to buy already started plants to plunk into those boxes.

    dawn - no, no car parts or beer fridges - yet. So maybe there is still hope for us.

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  9. An allotment is a major commitment of time and energy. Good on you for keeping it going three years.

    At least you have the kids for free labour. Keep 'em at it.

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  10. I'm hitting the garden centre today. I hope nothing freezes....

    As for the library, I think my fines paid for the new children's wing.

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  11. Children as free labor? Hah! There's the whining and the crying and the I don't want to do this-es! and the I'm bored-s!

    No, there's payment due when working with children. Always!

    However, good on you for hacking your way through the weeds. Starting with plants is an excellent idea. Now if only it would warm up around here, consistently! 85 degrees and then snow is not my idea of consistent!

    *Shakes fist at sky*

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  12. Good thing there aren't any librarians overseeing the community garden plot. :-)

    My garden would contain every bit of what yours does, and more. I desperately want a garden, but I harbor no illusions that it would look anything like the one in the picture.

    You're not going to make us take bags of zucchini off your hands in a couple of months, are you?

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  13. I was going to leave a witty comment about how much poop the Saint has rotor-tilled into my garden this spring - But then I saw poor Amy's comment up there. Wha...? No kids in the garden? That is messed up.

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  14. I also had trouble with library fines and due dates. My family checks out a lot of books on several accounts. I now rely on Library Elf http://www.libraryelf.com/ - it's FREE.

    If your diabolical library participates, I wholeheartedly recommend signing up. I've got my account set up to send nagging emails three days before a book is due on all our accounts.

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  15. Nothing depresses more than weeding. It's the most formidable task known to mankind (other than reforming our government). My deepest sympathies.

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  16. OH YEAH the garden. I am a plant addict. I get them home their tidy boxes and then decide to get all scattery about it. I have a lot of plant boxes full of alternately frozen and baked plants. I haven't tilled or macheted a thing yet this year, so... where to plant them? Why plant them? They look nice in the boxes for a few weeks anyway.

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  17. Oooooh... that sounds like too much pressure - another thing to keep clean and neat!

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  18. Let's sick those librarians on bin Laden.

    I practice a special brand of gardening called Darwinian Gardening. Here's how it works: I plant something then neglect it. If it still lives, I plant a whole lot of it. Needless to say, I grow a lot of weedy perennials.

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  19. Here's how I solved our gardening dilemma: I let my wonderful neighbors do it all! Every year they plant oodles of tomoatoes, etc., and since they always have way too much, they spend all summer bringing over anything they can't use. When I start to feel guilty for letting them do all the work, I'll make them some homemade spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes they gave us.

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  20. I wonder if Vegas has community gardens. Probably not. It would interfere with the whole "behold the surface of the moon, paradise for crack whores" thing they've got going on.

    I miss my garden.

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  21. Good on you for getting back to it.

    The weather is still not quite stable enough here to get started on our garden...a couple of weeks yet.

    But I am looking forward to it. I may not have the yield of fresh veggies I'm hoping for but undoubtably I learn a few things.

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  22. Sigh. You're further along than I am. Just looking at all the weeds makes me tired.
    angelawd

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  23. WHAT? Roundup isnt organic?

    I'm feeling you on the library issue. Librarians are all fascists at heart. My brother had a psych eval once and he insists they asked several times if he had any hidden desire to be a librarian. he has taken this as proof positive that librarians are pathologically evile.

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  24. OH and about library elf- unless that little bugger is going to hop out of the virtual world and into my real world he wont help much. What I need is three kids who put the books on the proper shelf.

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  25. I guess my only question would be whether I would be allowed to hire a gardener to tend to my plot. But that would probably get me voted off the island, huh?

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  26. sorry but I have to say, I wish I had a plot next to yours because I would look wonderful, as is, we have weeds that you have to walk past to get to our front door, thats a welcoming sign. hehe

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  27. That seems like an awesome idea but then suddenly A LOT of work.

    It must be hard to keep up with the organic Jones'. I couldn't do it.

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  28. You're right about tha librarians. There's one at our local library who, I am sure, lives only to see someone (most notably me and my children) come in with an overdue book. I think she has the notion that children, especially 6 from the one family, should NOT BE ALLOWED ... or at least not in HER library.

    Good luck with the gardening!

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  29. I'm sure our yard is often the topic of conversation for the HOA. And not in a good way.

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  30. Soon to be joining you in the White Trash Gardening department. Wish me luck!

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