This morning I got up really early, at least for a Sunday, put my now fairly long hair into a short ponytail (shades of junior high school!), and pointed the pickup in the direction of Turley. Some of us from A Third Place Community Center were going to put in a new community garden; a few people started around 7 AM. When I got there at 8:30, someone was doing some tilling on the first bed. By around noon, we'd made two different raised beds as well as an experimental plot. We'd also had a short church service while sitting on the straw bales of the first bed.
The Methodist Church up the street gave us the use of an empty field so this morning was the first time we'd done anything with it. There's going to be a short garden tour next weekend, so this one will be included to not only show what the Center is doing around town in their "Let Turley Bloom" project, but also to demonstrate various methods of growing plants.
We constructed the first bed with bales of straw, carefully placing them so that people may reach the center of the plot while sitting on either side.
We did some tilling to loosen the soil a little, then put down newspapers, some mulch, then bags of topsoil and manure. In that one we planted tomatoes.
Bonnie and Ron had made a wooden raised bed framework for the second bed, and we prepared that one the same way as the first, planting a variety of peppers and some cucumbers.
The experimental plot was a last minute idea when Bonnie found some landscape fabric in their pickup truck. We spread newspapers on top of the weed, then the landscape cloth, then mulch, topsoil, and manure. In that area we planted a couple of squash plants.
Besides gardening, Bonnie led us on a short field trip, pointing out various plants, and someone found a small brown snake curled up on a branch. We pushed five shopping carts up the path from below the field, loaded them into a couple of pickup trucks, and took them back to the market.
By 11:030 or so, it was starting to get hot, so Ron led a short church service while we all sat around on the straw bales of the first bed. Who says church has to be held inside a special building!
After a pretty decent lunch at Arby's of chopped salad with grilled chicken and a delicious Jamocha milkshake, I drove back up to Bartlesville and checked out my own garden. With all the rain lately, then hot days, it's doing really well. I was worried because of all the trees, so we'll see how it goes the rest of the summer. I'd like to dig up a spot near the side fence to plant some corn and green beans, so will see how ambitious I am tomorrow. Next door neighbors have a tiller, so I might borrow that. It would be much easier than the shovel method I used on the first garden in back.
Here is a picture of the beginning of the back garden, followed by recent photos of various parts of the yard.