The Inadvertent Gardener Rotating Header Image

A little fear of change

“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.

8 Comments on “A little fear of change”

  1. #1 http://waxholm.blogspot.com/
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Hi, I fully understand what you mean but ‘I’ll try anything once’ perfaps you love it. It is no harm done trying. I actually have one community garden on the other side of my road and it looks as if they are enjoying themself :-) Tyra

  2. #2 Scott R Davis
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I just left my community garden after almost two years, due to my move. I too wondered about how well I’d like not having a garden out the back door. I must say it worked pretty well. Because the community garden was pesticide free the eco system was complete and I had less pests than when I was gardening in my own backyard. I went almost every other day, but skipping some trips. I picked herbs once a week, took them home and washed them. Then kept them ready to use in the fridge. People traded seeds and tips which was fun. Sometimes they’d share their bounty, although not often. You’ll adjust and love it.

  3. #3 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Tyra, oh, I’ll try anything once, too. And as you said…I may surprise myself!

    Scott, that’s an interesting point about having less pests than in your own yard — hadn’t thought about that. I wonder if that will bear out here? Regardless, interesting point… Sorry to hear you had to give up your plot, but I hope you find a new one!

  4. #4 Philip
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Hi,
    I hope you get the community garden you want. Hopefully it will be a place where people can meet, too… sort of like Blotanical! It sounds like fun.
    :)
    Best,
    Philip

  5. #5 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 25th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Philip, I hope so, too — one of the huge benefits I see of working with a community garden will be the opportunity to, well, meet more members of the community!

  6. #6 http://dart1121.blogspot.com/
    on Nov 26th, 2008 at 5:32 am

    Well, if all else fails, there’s always container gardening. Which you might actually prefer for your herbs. Zuccini – not so much. LOL

  7. #7 inadvertentgardener
    on Nov 26th, 2008 at 10:41 am

    The only problem with container gardening is that there’s no place to put the containers! I’d need a community garden even for that, since all that I have working is a sad, small basil plant.

  8. #8 Zannie
    on Nov 27th, 2008 at 7:42 am

    I’m curious how it will work out for you. I do have a yard to garden in, but I may not always, and I have the same concerns you do about community gardens.

    On the other hand, I hear they’re great places to learn from other gardeners, and lots of tools are provided.

Leave a Comment