I talked to the property manager for the site and got the super good news. The fence is on schedule--in fact they're working on it right this very moment. We have permission to start planting as of this weekend.
In an interesting twist, they're repositioning the fence, so that the posts will be set right into the concrete retaining wall that borders the parking lot. This shifts the whole thing to the other side of the two-foot wide strip of ground. This is actually good news, because it means that our volunteers don't have to spend time climbing and balancing on a 12-inch-wide retaining wall. It does change the aesthetics a bit, in that the commuters on the sidewalk won't be confronted so directly by this wall of veggies that I'd hoped for. And it'll be a little harder to pick--there will be two feet of dirt (and flowers) between the commuters and the veggies, but I don't think it'll make much difference. We'll see. I hope the impact, visually, isn't lessened too much.
The hard part with the new fence position is that the plants will have to lean over about six inches of concrete to get to the fence. I hope that this won't cause problems when the plants are young, in terms of stem development.
More good news--it looks like the fence will be a little taller than the old fence, maybe 15-18 inches taller, I'd guess close to 4.5 feet high. This is a big help for the pole beans, which can easily grow 6 feet tall. We'll have to do less trimming. And, if we can get the planting dense enough, we'll have a stronger visual impact from the fully grown garden.
I got permission, again, to use water available at the site, which will be a big help. We might just use watering cans from the spigot, we'll see.
On the downside, we can't put in a compost bin, which means that we'll have to cart away all the weeds and waste. Not a huge problem, but it makes a bit more work. I understand why they don't want it on the property. Maybe next year. (Maybe someday we'll even have worm bins.)
The really tricky part is that I've got an intensely overscheduled weekend--a family social event Friday, a neighborhood ice cream social I'm organizing on Saturday, and a writing workshop I have to help with on Sunday. Oh, and I've got a rare (but well-paying) freelance writing gig that needs to be finished by the middle of next week, which means I need to work on it this weekend). Somehow I've got to schedule a time to start putting seeds and plants in the ground this weekend, and pull together a bunch of volunteers to do it. Should be a challenge. (I'll post a time on this blog soon, for interested volunteers. We'll need folks with hoes, trowels, and compost. And a wheelbarrow or two. And paper yard waste bags.)
An All-Cement Chicken House - As the co-editor of a blog that has way too many subjects for its own good, I take great comfort in the eclecticism of Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Magazine...
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