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Garner Grows Community Garden: Share The Work, Share The Harvest
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They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The old adage usually refers to the weather, but it’s not a bad analogy for the activity calendar at Garner Grows this month!

With my disabilities, cardboard & mulching is one of the easier activities for me to help out with. But the last few months had begun to grow monotonous in their sameness, and I thought if I had to type “cardboard & mulch” on our to-do list for the weekly workday one more time I might cry. Then March roared in like a lion and almost made me miss that monotony; boy has it been a busy month. Cardboard & mulch is, of course, not nearly finished yet, so I expect I will be typing it quite a few more times, but this month it was overshadowed by an avalanche of other tasks.

Several newly-built raised beds have been added to the garden, which brought with them a number of new tasks to be delegated. There were teams working to build the beds, teams installing and leveling them, (and then a team to repair the ones that fell apart during installation, LOL), and yet more teams getting them filled with layers of Permatill VoleBloc, mulch and compost from CompostNow so that we can begin planting in them.

The upcoming Plant Sales necessitate another flurry of chores to be delegated, including starting seedlings, digging up and dividing mature plants, rooting cuttings from things like fig trees and basil, and then getting all those things potted up. So far we have potted up over 1500 plants for sale! This year we are even going to try online pre-sales, so Layla and I have been working on an online store. Then there’s all the behind-the-scenes planning that goes into these events! 

Speaking of behind-the-scenes planning; we already have a team of dedicated members helping the Leaders prepare for the Grand Opening coming up in June! Caryn has really stepped up to the plate for this event, helping to take care of all the red tape involved with permits and other paperwork. Sarah is working on getting sponsors to donate and/or participate. I even got to put my woodworking skills to use and designed a spinning prize wheel to use for Garner Grows branded merchandise, which will be distributed during the Grand Opening event.

Sarah and George have been hard at work preparing for our new bee area at Thompson Road Park. They’ve been building new bee boxes and working with our existing bees at satellite locations.

As if all that wasn’t enough to add to our schedule, we decided to have not one, but two free public workshops this month. We had a Seed Starting Workshop on March 19th, and a Mushroom Log Workshop on the 26th. I unfortunately ended up injuring myself around this time, and couldn’t participate much in either workshop, but I did manage to attend and take some photos of everyone having fun! I would call both events a success, despite Mother Nature’s attempt to chase us away from the Mushroom Log Workshop with an unexpected rain storm. But our attendees were real troopers and happily huddled under the shelters to complete the class.

Layla recently learned of an opportunity to get several tons of peat moss for free, donated by Medicago, but only if we could take delivery by the end of the month. She had only a few days to prepare a storage space. I have plenty of space at my property, but it needed serious work to be ready in time. A team of hard-working members came to clear out the carport at my house as a storage space, so we can take advantage of this great deal. The delivery required special equipment to move (donated by Gregory Poole), since there were 20 pallets of peat moss and each one weighs nearly 2000lbs!

After all that excitement, we decided it was time to let March go out like a lamb, and we cancelled the last regularly scheduled workday on Monday so we could finally rest.

As you can see, the month has been packed with more than just workdays at the garden! There is so much more to be done to run a community garden than just growing things. If you are interested in getting more involved with extra duties, or have a special skill or interest you would like to volunteer, let us know! We will be having a Member Meeting with the Leaders on April 8, along with a potluck gathering, so that’s the perfect time to discuss it.

This post is part of a series of blogs called:

My name is Jette, and I am the last person you would expect to join a community garden! Not only do I have a ‘black thumb’, but I am physically disabled and I am introvert who suffers from social anxiety. So how did Garner Grows become such a big part of my life? This blog series will follow along on my unlikely journey and show community gardening from my unique (and completely unskilled) perspective.