Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Weeds are Toast!

This years group of community gardeners at the Meridian Community Garden are a force to be reckoned with!  In just two hours they managed to sheet mulch with black plastic nearly half an acre after measuring and attaching drip irrigation line.  This improvement to our garden will save us so many man hours.  We will no longer have never ending hours of weeding by hand.  Our soil will warm up a little quicker in the Spring and this mulch will help us conserve water.

This group took on this project with gusto!  Truthfully we had no idea what we were doing.  Members Youtubed the project, tried out different methods  and assigned tasks like a seasoned team.  The thin plastic is layered over drip irrigation tubing and then the edges are held in place with soil.  We left a few walking paths through the garden for ease of harvesting and because we needed a place to steal dirt from.

The plastic had to be cut to length from an enormous and very heavy roll.  Having nothing to hang the roll from we rolled it up and down a little access road.  Then the cut sheet had to be carried into the garden and laid straight.

Some of us really got into our work!  At this point the team is on a roll!  We lay four rows down and then skip a row.  There are over 60 rows in this garden and the team finished the project in two hours!  They are AMAZING!!!

As you can see everyone got involved.  The very young were eager to try out the shovels and helped roll the big roll of plastic.  Our main body of gardeners are in the 30 to 50 year range but we have many gardeners both younger and older than that.

I took a number of small groups on a tour of the area that we planted a month ago.  I encouraged everyone to taste what we were growing.  A clear favorite was giant red mustard- one of the crops I choose despite it rating very low on my survey.  The kids got a kick out of pulling and tasting the radishes and they were very eager to try the Asian Greens, Spinach, Lettuce, Kale, and Lambs Quarters.

I love that I can include my children and the other members children in this garden experience.  I have a fantastic time answering their questions and showing them what to do in the garden.  The enthusiasm of our members and their families makes me feel very blessed.  I am so glad I began this journey five years ago and that I pursued it to this point.  Our garden is a fantastic success and we look forward to a bountiful year.