Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday is Blog Day

This blog started out as an experiment on writing about local food and other related activities. It has morphed into more of a studio/stitching journal. Today we return to the local.  
Up on the Halifax Commons where the local high school used to exist, an urban farm and allotment garden project has been developing for 5 years.
There about 170 allotments now. They measure 3feet x 7 feet. This bed is super organized, using the "Square Foot" gardening model.

There is a farmer with a half acre section. He is growing a wide range of crops. Notice at the head of each bed, he has planted some kind of flowering plant, sometimes an herb sometimes a flower. These attract pollinators.
There are also beds that are eating beds. As you walk along, you are encouraged to try something from specific beds. At the time we were going through, strawberries were in season.
Other parts of the site include a shaded sitting area, a common soil area, a single tap for too many crops, a play area and an interactive area.
The top of this hill is a very hot, dry place. The crops seem to be a couple of weeks ahead of backyard gardens in the city. There sure isn't any shade. There has been all kinds of political rodeos about this site, but that is best left to the newspapers, people with decision making power and the activists. All I know for sure is that walking through these gardens is a great experience. So many people are connecting back to the garden in so many ways. People with mobility issues, several workplace or school place groups have a plot they work in as a smaller community, children get to muck about and adults have a friendly place to learn and teach about food.
I have a lovely, large garden with too much shade. This is the sunny hour of the garden, in mid July. Only that central section gets good sun and it doesn't last long enough for anything to really get going. We have instead treated the yard as an insect refuge. There is a small fountain at ground level just on your right of the photo. There are several bird baths filled often, many shady nooks, many tree stumps and logs for small eco-systems and the bees love it here. The last time our beekeeper buddy,Michelle, came by, she told us the bees had already enough honey for the winter.
The little bit of area that does get enough sun is subject to gardeners ineptness. It really doesn't matter what kinds of seeds I plant (indoors or outdoors) they just bomb out.
The white pails are filled with a red potato or a blue potato chit and these are coming along nicely. The green window boxes are filled with lettuce seeds and are doing nothing in particular. The mauve frame is for the peas that refuse to climb. In front of the raised bed you should be seeing bergamot (failed) camomile (bought the plant at a nursery) sage (scraggly) woad (the jury's still out) and in front of the flowering bush should be nigella. Nope. Every spring I am determined to succeed in this area, every July I fail, every August I swear to never veggie garden again and then it begins again in March. Given the amount of space we have, it seems greedy to apply for an allotment, yet I wonder if I might succeed better where there are other gardeners to give advice. On the third hand, I love shopping at the farmers market and vegetable stands, supporting those folks who already garden so well.
mmm, I love our farmers.

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