Monday, April 6, 2015

Community

The community garden is now open! Today is supposed to be a lovely day, and much rain will be following in the next few days, so today I will be going over and doing the first round of planting. Seeds to be planted today are: turnips, spinach, swiss chard, radish, cabbage, beet, and carrot.

Saturday was the orientation meeting for all the gardeners. Despite that morning being cold and windy, most people were able to show up. Such a rare sight in Hagerstown: so many people in one place, happy and optimistic, chatting with strangers, sharing tips, ideas, suggestions. I really believe that this community garden sight will only be the first of many throughout the city. We're building a community in this city, at last.


 A few thoughts on my fellow gardeners:
  • Naturally, as with any group, there are a few people who are clearly going to be irritating to work with. The old man who wants to tell you just how to do everything, goes on and on about something that is not really relevant to the current discussion, and must have his voice heard; and the guy with too much time on his hands that wants to get involved in every activity, discussion, etc. He brings up irrelevant points, makes decisions for others, and interrupts others any time a thought crosses his mind. There seems to be at least one of this type of person in every group activity, and our group is large enough that we have two.
  • A couple of the ladies were wearing very impractical clothing: knee-length skirts and heels. This meeting was outside, in the garden, on a windy, chilly morning. I mean, I can give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they just came from or were going somewhere where that type of clothing (pretty much business-casual, in both cases) is necessary, but they looked silly and cold. Would have been a day for a pantsuit and nice flats, if it were me.
  • A few of the people were genuinely cool: the former-history-teacher-library-employee-who-brought-coffee-for-everyone, the slightly-geeky-guy-with-the-good-speaking-voice-who's-nicely-modest, the young-womens-rugby-player-who-proposed-a-small-library-for-the-garden-and-smiles-a-lot-in-a-genuine-and-friendly-way, and a few other people, like the FFA student representative, our plot-neighbor who hasn't done much gardening before, the ARC representative who I've often seen at work. 
We might actually make friends! My husband and I are both introverts, so meeting new people is not only unlikely as we avoid places with lots of people in them, but also stressful, as excess socializing quickly wears out introverts. Consequentially, friends we made in high school have drifted away completely. Structured socialization, like the community garden, provide a great opportunity to gain new friends. We absolutely have to go to the garden at least once a week, or our plants will suffer, and we are likely to see other people there who are open to discussion.

Additionally, I volunteered to be a Garden Coordinator (which basically means I'm one of a handful of people who know the combination to the shed and water pump), so my phone number will be shared with all gardeners in case they want to use tools in the shed when no other coordinator is there.

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