“I’m a little worried about this whole community-gardening thing,” I told a friend one night recently over drinks. “I’ve never gardened anywhere but Iowa, and the garden there was right out my back door.”
“Then you can go out and weed for 10 minutes and come back in and do other stuff,” he said.
“Exactly,” I said. “But with a community garden plot, I’m going to have schlep over and back, and what if I don’t feel like going all the time?”
I realize this is extremely premature whining. I have no idea if I’m going to get a spot in my garden of choice. I have no idea whether I’ll end up just driving for convenience’s sake or if I can figure out a quick-and-easy public transit route there and back.
There will be benefits to the group plot: Meeting some neighbors. Getting ideas about what will and will not grow in this utterly different climate. Learning a different part of Oakland than I usually hang out in.
But it will not provide me some of the gardening benefits that I loved most in Iowa: Walking out before breakfast to cut herbs for an omelette scheduled to be served 10 minutes later. Spending five minutes pulling off tomato plant suckers before running off to work or a social event. Going out in the morning to see how the zucchini is growing, and going back out at night to cut one off because it already grew so much during the day it needs to be eaten.
I’m sure community gardening will provide its own rhythms, and I’m a good scheduler: I’m quite capable of booking in an hour every other day or two to go check on the plants and do all the work at one time. But every now and then, I worry about how much it won’t be the same, and honestly? I wonder if I’ll like it as much.