Gardening has a way of spreading, expanding not only on the land, but into the minds and hearts of a community. One just never gets over the fact that a small seed, as if by magic, can grow into a plant to feed a multitude. Gardening has value, in that it can feed the hungry masses, but it can also feed much more in a human than that tangible thing.
I have been honored with a complimentary bed at our local Community Garden. For me, this is a great treasure beyond any other. I often see little patches of dirt while out and about on my daily constitutional and think that something, anything, should be growing there, especially something edible. I love to try new foods and new planting techniques, so being offered this little plot of earth to call my own for the season is the ultimate. I am excited to see what other gardeners do and, of course, I already have a plan for my bed.
I will be doing the three sisters companion planting (corn, beans, & squash). I am using Painted Mountain Corn, 1500-Year-Old Cave Beans, and New England Sugar Pie Pumpkin, to be exact. The goal is to plant the corn early. Next, you plant the beans nearby to give them a chance to vine up the corn stalk. The pumpkins are last and they help to shade the ground to keep it moist for all the plants. The beans release nitrogen in the soil, which the corn needs and loves. All of these plants will need a head start due to our short growing season. I will have to start them soon and still give them time for hardening-off before actually planting them in my bed.
I will be getting more details on the rules for the Waterville Community Garden itself and am expectantly waiting for the spring thaw. The garden is an outreach program of the WMA (Waterville Main Street Association). There is a $25 annual fee and they have a total of 10 beds. Amy Larsen will be hosting this year, so stop by the Waterville Library for more information. I hope to see you out there!