I love to fiddle. I love to take things apart to see how they work, try new things, and mix and match to see what happens. If you think I drove my mother nuts as a child, you're right! But I've learned wonderful things by doing this. Yes, I've also had things blow up in my face, but that too is a valuable lesson. Before Edison brought the incandescent bulb to market, he learned 10k ways that it didn't work, and this too had value. So when a plot opened up in the community garden close to my house, I just had to give it a try.
My urban lot is pretty small and can't possibly support my nutritional needs by itself, my CSA went up 20% along with the rest of my groceries, and it's not like we're still having supply chain issues, right? I had done a recon run over there the previous fall, liked what I saw, and put myself on the waiting list. Now I haul myself out of bed at 6 am most mornings to run over there before work. In this article, I'll discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly lessons I've learned from my community garden plot.
What is a community garden plot?
For those unfamiliar, community garden plots are low-cost rental spaces through the county community gardens program. Plots come in different sizes. Mine is 10'x20' and cost me $15 for the season. Generally, this is a good option for anyone who doesn't have enough space at home, such as apartment/condo dwellers or homeowners with small lots, such as myself. (Looking for urban gardening solutions? Check out this course created just for those who don't have a lot of land!)
The land is often donated to the program, and there's a rule book to follow. In my case, I may not put any permanent structures on my plot or plant perennials. I may not use certain pesticides such as glyphosate, dicamba, or neonicotinoids. I will keep my plot weeded and orderly, and if my plot is adjacent to the walking path, I get to help weed that too. I'm allowed to put up rabbit fencing, but it has to come down in fall, and my plot must be cleaned out by October 15.