And apparently I was the last person to do so, which is not a surprise. For, despite being a SPY, I am not the most observant person, nor the most innately curious. Though I do love flowers.
Community gardens take many forms, but after researching, basically the model is as follows: You take a large plot of land, you divvy it into sections, then people (usually backyard-less apartment residents) sign up to get their own section. That way, they can have a little garden to tend for vegetables, herbs or fresh flowers despite living in an apartment. The gardens are also ALL over DC (interactive map, Dupont is ward 2!).
Neat no? I obviously wanted one despite the fact I neither garden nor cook, so decided to the check out the Temple Garden at 15th and S Streets NW. Yeah. Turns out, community gardens are SERIOUS. Like super serious. First off, the wait time for a plot at Temple Garden is a minimum of 3 YEARS. 3 effing years! And secondly, well, from the Field to Fork website:
The Temple Garden is organized by having a president, a listkeeper, quadrant leaders, a treasurer and a Temple “liaison” who communicates with our landowners, the Masonic Temple…. The garden has 4 pages of rules outlining expectations of all gardeners, and enforcement is done by Quadrant Leaders throughout the growing season
Hmmm, a strictly enforced collective garden with a set hierarchy. What does that remind me of…
In Russia, garden tends you. Get in line comrades!
So yes, community gardens are for the dedicated, which makes sense given the waitlist. Your beloved SPY falls more into the “flakey” category. However, if you are an apartment dweller, gardener, and can make the time, go for it!
(Oh and the website, DC’s from field to fork network, has tons of tips about community gardens, farmers markets and local produce in general. Just in time for Top Chef!)