Wednesday 17 October 2001
As you have probably noticed, the world
seems overly complicated right now and I've been feeling that
stress-pressure just above the middle of my eyebrows (or the
third eye area as my yoga teacher would call it) and the things
that are worrying me are beyond reckoning or control. At times
like this there is nothing like digging in a garden.
Big-P and I are flat dwelling urbanites
with only the teeniest of the tiniest bit of shady outdoor
space which is useless for even growing potted herbs. My Kumquat
tree greedily takes up the one splash of morning sunlight
leaving all other plants looking very sad and starved. A while
back my Mum suggested we all put our names down on a waiting
list for a community garden plot. We did, and now several
months later our number has come up.
Our little bit of dirt is around 2.5 metres
wide by 3.5 metres long (or thereabouts - it's a little hard
to judge). On one side we have a plot neighbour called Pat
who I like and who impressed us with her dislike of our current
Prime Minister and told us she thought the federal immigration
policies were racist (gotta love a plot neighbour with lefty
leanings). On the other side there is Rudy who scatters egg
shells on his plants and grows things in cardboard toilet
rolls and seems to prefer not to chat, which is fair enough.
Behind us is the local skate park, so wafting about us are
hip hop tunes from 13 year old's stereos and adolescent breaking
voices calling out "rad dude".
The soil seems pretty good; dark and healthy
looking and apart from some feral beetroots and some spritely
weeds it was almost ready to go. There is even an already
thriving strawberry patch which has me excited. Being allergic
to store bought strawberries (not sure why but might have
something to with the nasties that they spray
on them) it's been a long time between strawberry daiquiris.
Last weekend we hit the plot - digging,
planting, erecting of trellises, scattering smelly animal
poo and pea straw... the sun was bright, the air cool, the
dirt thick and wet. We planted beans, peas (sugar, snow and
regular) and carrots and talked up big plot plans for the
coming months. As we were leaving with blisters and aching
backs other plot owners thrust bags of chubby beans
and luminous rhubarb at us to take away. I can see it's going
to be a good Summer...
Other exciting plot plans
tomatoes: Romas which we will plant on Melbourne Cup day,
which is in November. This is the traditional day to plant
tomatoes in this part of the world - by this time the soil
is warm enough for the little seedlings.
2) a funky permaculture herb
spiral: Big-P and I built one of these the last time we
had a back yard and it was truly magnificent. The theory of
planting herbs in a built up spiral is that you create a micro
climate - warm on one side, dry at the top, moist at the base
and cool around the back.
3) Rhubarb: Is there anything nicer than
warm rhubarb and apple crumble? I think not!
- who have heaps of interesting groups, projects and schemes
garden links and listings
You Grow Girl - and
in particular this interview
herb spiral madness : 1,
and this little beauty