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2019 Community Garden Reflections

by Pat James

My fifth year as Community Garden Manager was the most challenging and the most fun so far. Water was a big issue in the community garden in 2019. The spring was damp and cold, which meant a slow starts for heat-loving crops. The previous winter offered a wild thaw and freeze cycle that resulted in almost 30 spigots rupturing under the pressure. Thanks to great tutoring from Wade Clement, one of our founding garden designers and builders, I learned how to fix them all. Who knew that a pipe wrench was such an important gardening tool! 

This summer we conducted about 10 Community Garden Conversations. Facilitated by gardeners, these were small gatherings that invited gardeners to share ideas, information and their vision for the Garden. Several ideas generated by the conversations will be implemented in coming seasons. Thanks to all who participated!

Our monthly community work parties accomplished a lot this year. In addition to our routine jobs, we installed new informational signs around the garden, cut lots and lots of knotweed, painted tool handles and more. A huge wind storm in September took out our canopy near the garden shed, leaving a tangle of canvas and metal that several gardeners volunteered to clear away. Work Parties are especially important in the care of our community spaces, which include the 800-foot edible hedgerow along Meadow Street, the Medicine Garden, the Bramble Patch, our new Pollinator Habitat Garden, the Children’s Play Area, as well as the picnic tables scattered throughout the garden, our Composting Outhouse, and of course our beloved Garden Shed. 

Now that the season has ended, I’ve laid down my pipe wrench for the time being to hold the reins of GFN as Interim Executive Director, IED for short. We hope to have a new Executive Director in place after the first of the year, and then I will happily go back to managing pipes, gardeners, and work parties. 

For more information and to apply for a community garden plot, look here

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