Our Community Garden

If you know me then it’s no secret that I sorely lack a green thumb. Animals have always been my forte, with plants coming in at the back of the pack. Since moving to Georgia, my gardens have left MANY things to be desired. When I lived in Alpharetta, I only had prime sun until the leaves came in on the trees, which didn’t allow for a very large harvest, and I was constantly overtaken by weeds. In Waleska, I have almost no sun at all, and the most success I have had was with a toss & wait approach, which still left me beaten by squash beetles.

Driving back to Georgia from Pennsylvania after Christmas, I had almost 12 hours to think. That’s a lot of time to be left alone with your thoughts. My gardening failures provided me with an idea…what if some like-minded individuals and I could work together and start our own, hopefully more successful garden? The wheels began to turn.

I started out trying to gather interest with some friends from work. I ended up with five other ladies, plus myself, interested in working a garden, with another one of our friends offering to help us get a bee hive going wherever our garden may be.

Success! Interest. Next issue was finding a location. I reached out to multiple community gardens and parks in central locations near our office, but none of them seemed like a solid fit. That’s when one of my homesteading friends reached out and offered up her established garden to us! Due to life circumstances (new baby) she hadn’t had time to care for a garden for almost 2 seasons, and she was happy to offer up the space in exchange for help.

Everyone involved met up at our new garden location one Sunday to survey the space and figure out what sort of work needed done. We had our work cut out for us, most of the beds and walkways between the beds were very overgrown. There were some old bee-hives that our bee-friend inspected, and we moved closer to the house so that they could be cleaned up and prepared for potential bees in the spring.

Day 1 – Initial visit, lots of leaves & sunchoke stalks

Over the next 2-3 Sundays, whoever was available would meet up and work. Our first work day was seemingly most productive as the change was VERY evident once work was done. We were all feeling very accomplished, many hands make light work and in just about 2 hours we were able to transform a dying ‘jungle’ into something that resembled a garden again.

Day 1: more sunchokes – we ended up digging up a couple pounds of them

The next work day we continued to work on pulling weeds and laying cardboard across the walkways, and we were able to secure a free load of mulch, which we have been working on spreading across the walkways between the beds. Since the garden was previously established, we have some very good, nutritious soil to work with, which is great! We also added 3 additional beds to the garden, maximizing our space as much as possible.

Day 1: overgrown with weeds, sunchokes, blackberry brambles & the old bee boxes

I will keep posting here once we start planting and try and record our successes and failures. I am so happy I am able to work with such a great group of folks to make ALL of our gardening goals come true. Now come on spring! I started some tomato & pepper seeds for us this past week, hoping we get some sprouts that will turn into big healthy plants.

Day 2: After our first work day, SO MUCH PROGRESS!
Day 4: We added 3 new beds and started laying mulch over the cardboard between the beds

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