I’m currently reading Closing the Food Gap and it’s lighting new fires while dousing others. I keep interrupting my husband’s quiet to read aloud an outrageous statistic here or a shocking history there. Education is not always comfortable.

Twice so far, it’s mentioned that in community garden the most important word is community. I’ve stewed on this a bit. I didn’t join a community garden this round for the community. I joined for the soil to soothe my soul.

When I’d joined in 2012 (same community garden, different plots), I had joined for both the community and the garden. I’d been chastised, looked down upon, and otherwise made to feel wholly unwelcome and less-than during that experience with the community part of the community garden.

So this time, I signed up hoping to garden in peace, quiet, and solitude.

I’ve met more neighboring gardeners in the last six weeks than the entire year I was here last time. Each has been friendly, kind, and generally also hoping to part ways shortly for their own peace and solitude.

Yesterday, I spotted this “Hi” left on the far side of the path between my garden and a neighbor’s I’ve yet to meet. It is one of the main paths in and out of the walled garden. A butterfly had alit beside it.

Yes. I hear you. Community gardening, indeed. (I added an ! before heading home for the day, lacking sufficient supplies for a suitable reply.)

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8 comments on “

  1. Kevin says:

    Hi PD. Interesting post. I’ve never joined a community garden, mostly because — as much as I say and believe that gardening can bring people together — I enjoy gardening alone. I enjoy the solitude and the peace in my little corner of the world. Then, I saw the “Hi” — and I thought of community and the street where I live, where neighbors say hello to one another, where we chit chat during the magic hour (after work hours, when everyone walks their dogs), and — of course — where we share plants. 🙂

    • plumdirt says:

      I, too, like the solitude. I had a brilliant idea a few weeks back to bring the whole family to the plots to play in them together.
      Disaster.
      Thankfully, it is more like you describe with your actual neighbors. A little hello, and then off to our own quiet.

  2. betta13 says:

    Plumdirt, you sound like me as I read aloud things to my husband too! Currently I am reading Radical Regenerative Gardening and Farming by Frank Holzman.
    I have not ever been part of a community garden but I have co-gardened with a friend on her property. It was an enjoyable experience since we both had young children at the time. Now, I love the solitude of the garden while I’m working and “creating”. Recently I sold some leftover plant starts and invited people into the garden area and that was fun. Most people are kind and inquisitive. I love that someone spelled out HI for you. What an ingenious idea!
    What in particular do you like about the book you are reading? OR better, what are you learning from it?
    Happy hoeing!

    • plumdirt says:

      That book looks like it belongs on my ever-lengthening To Read List, thank you!
      I’m learning a new perspective on hunger causes (and potential solutions) in America. It talks about the Reagan era fiscal conservatism and the impact to the elderly, in real numbers with real people, to the services they previously received. It talks about the circular relationship between services, hunger, donors, and policies. The author started working in this realm in the late 70s and is sharing success stories, thoughts, and failures through the decades he’s seen or been a part of.

  3. albert says:

    Greetings from the ground, say the wood and brick layabouts. Apt garden talk.

  4. Karen says:

    How fun. Nice that you are having friendlier experiences this year.

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