After poking around the community for the past several weeks trying to figure out the best plan of attack, we decided to start a community garden plot at the West State street park. The Park is a gigantic sports complex with more than a dozen baseball fields, a driving range, acres of open field, a playground, and back in the corner, along the bike path, a thriving community garden. For 50$ and a promise to donate 10% of what ever we grow to the Athens County Food bank we were in business. And by business we mean we spent the next three evenings double-digging our heretofore untouched garden plot digging through four inches of grass roots and top soil, another two inches of compacted gravel left-over from a no-longer-existent gravel road, and another seven or eight inches of good, if slightly sandy, dirt. We turned that all around with our shovels, made a path down the middle, put up a fence to keep out deer, and finally, on Saturday morning put some actual plants in the ground: Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, Green Bell Peppers, Pimentos, yellow squash, bush beans, cilantro, carrots, and onions.
Both the Monkey and Mr. Baseball had a blast playing in the dirt at the garden. The Monkey had a hard time 1) staying out of other plots, 2) not pulling up the pepper plants dad just planted, 3) not stealing Mr. Baseball's shovel, and 4) not dumping his bag of animal crackers over in the grass. He did however have a wonderful time wandering around the garden, poking sticks in the dirt, hanging on fences and watching ants and spiders crawl through the dirt.
The Queen Bee, directing her hive. She was the spearhead for getting our garden plot organized and getting us out there to work on it. The community garden itself is tended by a great mix of first-timers like us as well as many experienced gardeners, so while the amazing rows of beans and tomatoes in some plots are extremely intimidating, the withering, anemic plants in others are oddly comforting (its nice not to be the only goof in the bunch). There are tools we can use, water buckets, and even occasionally some mulch and organic bug-be-gone (bone meal). The organization that runs the garden also provides classes, holds potlucks and offers plenty of free advice. All week the QB has been singing "The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden."