New year, new garden

It’s springtime and that means three things: the birds are singing me awake an hour before my alarm, the bees building a hive in my car are actually wasps, and it’s time for me to gently place tomato seeds in tiny holes in my dad’s lawn before covering them with fresh cow manure – locally collected, of course.

Gardening is a hobby shared across time, distance, and culture, passed down from generation to generation – and now it’s time to carry on the tradition.

There are two common kinds of gardening – container gardening and community gardening.

I won’t be discussing container gardening. Everyone knows what container gardening is. Get a plant, put it in a pot, cover it with dirt, water it. Everyone had a cactus or Venus fly trap in middle school.

I will, however, be discussing community gardens.

The idea of a community garden is to rent a plot of land for the season from the garden. The owners then buy the equipment and supplies needed to grow plants.

Ideally, because they’re able to buy so much at a time, it’s cheaper, and because equipment is shared, they can buy more specialized or higher quality tools.

Community gardens are typically located in urban areas, and have grown in popularity. This tradition stemmed from victory gardens during WWII.

While a community garden isn’t designed to feed a community, and really isn’t able to provide food year-round to those using it, there are a lot of benefits to community gardening.

First, it’s able to build a community of like-minded people who are actively interested in gardening, and can bring new foods to an area, or even create new varieties of fruits and vegetables.

Next, it’s an opportunity for people to see where their food comes from. It’s a chance for people to watch something they planted grow and know what goes into the process.

Finally, a garden is a place that a person can design with beauty in mind. There are thousands of kinds of flowers, and they can change any area in a magnificent way.

There are seed libraries that are connected to the public library that give out seeds for people looking to get started. You can get thousands of seeds online through Amazon or specialty sites for just a few dollars, if you don’t want to buy plants from the store.

If you’ve got a green thumb, or want a pet that doesn’t bark, meow, or is a fish – a pet you can’t pet – a few strawberry bushes or a tomato vine can do the trick instead.

All I know is that in three months time, I’ll be subjecting my family to the unrelenting terror that is steamed brussels sprouts with an endless rant on the importance of community gardens.

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