As you can see from the thin green line snaking up along the fence, the snow peas that we planted have sprouted and are doing quite well. We've got nearly 180 feet of snow peas, ready to climb. The weather has been damp and warm, which has suited them well so far. A sunny weekend will help out a lot, too.
The soil is still pretty mounded pretty high, and we'll need to smooth it out before we can plant more seeds, but we'll need to wait another week or so, to make sure that we don't bury the snow pea seedlings.
It turns out they're replacing the sidewalk at the bottom 20 feet of the garden. So far, it looks like the workers have done a good job at not trashing this section of the garden, but it's hard to know how careful they can be when they have to pour the new concrete. It seems likely we'll lose the snow peas in this section, but since they're hitting it early, hopefully we won't have any big disruptions like this for the rest of the season.
We had good weather for our first workday of 2011 on Saturday. Tracy, Kira, Noah, and I were joined by Nathan and Keff to help move the three yards of compost to the garden and dig it into the soil. Sarah joined us to help plant snow peas.
(a family that shovels together, sticks together, right?)
We only had one wheelbarrow and three shovels, so it took a while. Keff brought down a trash can that we could load on the back of his electric wheelchair, to carry additional compost.
We all noticed that the soil has greatly improved since we started gardening the site in 2009. I remember when we turned it over for the very first time and there were almost no earthworms. On Saturday, we saw plenty of worms (and lots of grubs, too, for some reason).
Once we got the soil worked, Nathan, Sarah, and I (plus a two-year-old girl who stopped to help) planted half a pound of snow pea seeds--it was just enough to seed the entire fence line, all 180 feet of it. If they all come up, we'll have a serious crop. I think it'll look really cool. I wonder how long it'll take before they sprout?
Plenty of people stopped by to say how glad they were to see the garden back again. Some had questions and were curious about the project. (A few had critiques, as well.) I hope we'll see some of them on future workdays. Lots of folks are looking forward to a productive harvest this year.
Our three yards of compost arrived today. This is something we'll need to do, year after year, because the soil is fairly poor, and we take a lot out of it every season. We'll be moving the compost onto the garden tomorrow morning (Saturday), from 10am-Noon. We've just got one wheelbarrow, but plenty of shovels for turning the compost into the soil.
(I already got a head start on shoveling this morning, because part of the pile was blocking the driveway, so I had to move it. Gave me a good excuse to get out in the sunshine. I also had a chance to trim the trees by the garden a little, so we won't bump our heads on the branches, and we'll get a tiny bit more morning sun on those blocks.)
And here's how the garden looks in early April. Not much now, but just wait a couple months.
It's time for us get back to work at the 200 Foot Garden. I just placed an order for three yards of compost, which should be here Friday morning. On Saturday, we'll gather at the garden from 10am-noon, to spread that compost out along the garden and turn it into the ground, so the soil can be ready for planting. (We may even plant some snow pea seeds.)
If you can make it, we can definitely use your help.
One other thing to consider--we do need help in paying for the garden this year. We received a generous donation from the management at 99 Kent Street, as well as from some other neighbors, which will cover the cost of the seeds and some of the supplies. But the compost delivery will cost about $150, and we'll spend another $70-$85 this season on hoses and tools. If you feel like making a donation, look at the right hand column of this blog--there's a "donate" button there that allows people to contribute. Every little bit helps.
I hope we'll see some of you this Saturday. Thanks very much for your support of the garden in the past. We've got lots of exciting plantings coming up soon.
The seed orders have arrived, so I'm hoping to get some of those started in trays this weekend, and then we'll start looking for volunteers with sunny windows to help plant-sit them until they're ready to go in the ground.
The 200 Foot Garden is a community garden/art project, to create a commuter garden in Brookline, Massachusetts (near 99 Kent Street). Our hope is to add some beauty and delight to a very everyday stretch of sidewalk and chain-link fence. It's also our hope to remind people that healthy vegetables can be grown in all sorts of environments, not just farms or big yards or community garden plots. The 200 Foot Garden is also a way to bring together neighbors in a project designed to share good things with the people around us.
The project is headed by Patrick and Tracy Gabridge. In our everyday lives, Patrick is a novelist and playwright, and Tracy is a librarian.
The budget for this comes out of our pockets and from donations from folks like you. If you'd like to donate funds to help us buy seeds, compost, and other supplies for the garden, please click the button below.