Digging Back Into Our Community Garden

6 years ago Kyle casually asked if it would be cool if he put our names on a wait list for the community garden down the street and last year we finally got our plot.

Yes, you understood that correctly.  We waited for half a decade to get to be able to garden in Vancouver.

Last year when we finally got our plot we were over the moon + then the universe made us fail at gardening so hard.  I have decided to blame the universe, but regardless of blame, we failed.  Also.  Kale.

our nemesis is kale

The guy who had our plot before us was known as the Kale Guy + our plot was covered in layers and layers of kale.  Then we planted some more kale + it was the only thing that grew.  

I like kale, but this was too much kale.  Never again!  One row only!

the universe plotted against
our garden plot

We messed up planting 3 times last year. 

our First Fail

The deadline for planting was the day of our wedding.  So we cleaned our plot, got some stuff in the ground, and then spent our time getting ready for the wedding // enjoying being married + not gardening.  

When we went back to our plot it was a giant mess.  Mostly kale.  So we dug most of it up and started again.  

Our second fail

My parents' marriage blew up and we spent all our time being miserable + not gardening.  By the time we went back our radishes had bloomed + but of course the kale was looking fine because our next plot neighbour had been watering it for us.  

Our third fail

We headed off on the  McHowe World Tour and instead of planting the winter things you can plant, we spent our time travelling the world + not gardening.  

Our mild successes

So last year we had like 10 beans, 15 peas, 10,000 kales and some nasturtiums.  These pictured radishes tasted terrible.  But!! The peas were amazing enough that we are feeling very inspired for this summer's food.  

But this year will be different I swear

I'm going to blog about us sowing our dreams of hosting a dinner party serving a salad of our veggies that we grew ourselves, so that way we will hopefully be more accountable and grow something real.  

But this year hasn't started out much better

We arrived on Saturday to what was basically a grass patch.  

Yeah.  It's ugly.  I had a very awkward conversation with a longer term gardener where she could just not understand that we had gardened there last year despite me telling her twice- but once she got it she just laughed awkwardly and walked away.  I'm assuming it was confusing because our plot looked like it had been abandoned by a family of raccoons 5 years earlier.  

We spent a couple hours digging in our plot, covered in the type of mud that happens the day after a massive downpour + really makes you regret the fact that you don't (yet) own a giant pair of ugly + very practical rain boots.  It was really cold and wet + we are pretty sure when we go back in couple days it's going to resemble a grass patch again, but for now it's currently a higher percentage of mud than weeds so we are feeling very proud of ourselves.  We also got to put in 2 wheelbarrows of manure!  Noice.  

To be part of a community garden here you need to meet a certain number of volunteer hours, and plant in your garden or you don't get a plot next year.  As it's at least a 5 year wait list + there is supposed to be sense of community, this seems pretty fair to me.  Volunteer hours are when you do things for the garden as a whole, like watering the orchard, repairing fences + digging trenches that kind of thing.  So on Saturday we also spent some time weeding around the community fruit trees as well, and Kyle got a check beside his name saying we completed an hour.  So far, we're on track!

I'll keep you posted on how this shapes up this summer and I'm very hopeful we are going to grow things this year.  We are happy, happy, happy to take suggestions as to what to grow + how to grow it- we don't have much shade on our plot // any idea what we're doing.   

As a note, we are hoping to diversify from kale. 

i swear we are going to eat a full multi-vegetable-not-just-kale salad of things we grew this year