The community garden in Sandpoint has become a place of refuge for me.
I was a part of the meetings where it was decided to start the community garden project this year. I was happy to hear when a place had been found to start the first one. I brought compost from my place and joined in when there was a demonstration of how to make a no till bed. I helped plant the first tomatoes there.
I brought in straw from my barn and various plants from my garden, including oregano, tarragon, chives, strawberries and raspberries. It was fun to watch the garden take shape and see the progress from one time to another.
I began stopping at the garden to spend a little time and see how things were doing whenever I was in town. When Ariel and his children came camping when me, he brought greens from the garden. When I left home without my lunch one day and found myself at the Laundromat with extra time while sleeping bags were washing, I went to the garden and ate lunch. I had several baby crookneck squash, some green beans, a small head of cauliflower and some tarragon.
French Tarragon has been my favorite fresh green food this year. I love eating the small leaves from several stems each day. I have only missed eating it 4 or 5 days since I began the season the first part of May when the tarragon was only half an inch high in my garden.
As my supply at home dwindled, I would pick some at the community garden, eating some and carrying extra home with me. Occasionally I would pick a few other things as well – a summer squash or two, a handful of green beans, a few tomatoes, a head of cauliflower. The cauliflower and yellow crookneck squash crops were plentiful!!
Usually there was no one else at the garden and if I had the time, I would sit and soak up the good feelings I experienced there. I went there to eat my lunch on a day I had several different appointments in town, from morning until late afternoon. One day when my interactions with other people were NOT going smoothly and I felt like crying, I went there to calm down and center myself again.
Then came the beautiful day in September when I was on my way to my daughter’s wedding, which did not have much preplanning. I had some extra time so I stopped by to get some tarragon. Suddenly it dawned on me that my daughter should have a flower at her wedding, so I choose one of the most beautiful ones in the garden and took it to her on that special day.
I have been happy to get to know many of the people who helped make the community garden in Sandpoint a reality this year, and my interaction with them has brought me joy. But to be honest, my time spent in the garden itself has brought me even more joy. And this comes from someone who has a large garden at home and I didn’t think I “needed” a garden in town.
This season has changed my mind, and I will do whatever I can to support more plots being part of this community garden project. Gees, maybe next year if I stop at a different garden spot each time I am in town, it will take me several weeks to get around to all of them.
I can share more plants from my garden. French Tarragon, of course, so there is always some of that wherever I go, and maybe some flowers. Some Lilies, Columbine, and Black-eyed Susans would be a good start. I could start this fall with a few tulips and crocus and garlic. I wonder if anyone has another spot lined up. I’ll have to ask……