The Garden Plan:
After some hard work by the volunteer leadership of the group, a piece of land was found and donated. The potential is massive, but right now the garden is approximately 80 x 80 feet. If you have never worked a garden, let me just say – that is fairly massive all on its own.
The garden has been named the Love and Peas Community Garden, in tribute to Ceil’s (one of our volunteers) father. Her father, Robert, was well knowing in the community for his heart of Love and Peace – what a better way for us to help grow a community than by a simple play on words and growing some Love and Peas!
The plan includes using raised bed gardens. The raised beds are modular, meaning that while the frames are individually 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, they are put end-to-end, forming very long narrow beds. Raised beds make the soil and plants easier for volunteers to work with and the long beds make for the best use of space.
Our immediate efforts are focused on only 1 quadrant of the garden. We wanted to get it built and ready for a fall garden. And, we are succeeding. Thanks to the huge outpouring of support from individual volunteers and businesses there is no doubt that the garden will succeed.
Since only a quarter of the garden is going to be planted immediately, there is still a lot of room for numerous ideas. Perhaps more beds. Perhaps some small fruit trees or bushes. No matter what happens, there was one critical design feature that bares mentioning.
The main garden paths are all 8 feet wide. We decided to do this not only so there was plenty of elbow room as volunteers moved around the garden, but so that there is ample room for demonstrations. Remember, this is an educational experience. We wanted there to be enough room for people to be IN the garden as we taught about gardening!
Suffice it to say, it looks amazing.
We were also sure to provide several entry points. This is a simple effort in practicality. No entrance should be bottle-necked and all parts of the garden should be accessible to everyone.
You see, there is one natural feature we decided to work with, rather than fight it. There is a ditch running diagonally through the garden. It is where storm water will run off from a slight hill a little bit away from the garden. It does not flood the area, but enough water flows through it that we felt that if we tried to divert the water or fill in the ditch that we would just be causing ourselves problems.
A lot of great ideas are being tossed around for the ditch, but for now it is not our focus. Some ideas are to make a “ditch garden”, full of water loving plants. We might also make use of the more damp soil around the ditch for water-loving vegetables like potatoes. Time will tell what we end up doing!