Yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours in the garden putzing around.
Our garden is different from most community gardens in several ways: Every bed is different. [Some are pots and some are plots. Some are wooden box raised beds, some are lasagna beds, some are keyhole gardens, some beds grow vegetables and some beds grow food for pollinators.]
Our garden is located on a flood plain between a riparian area and a meadow. We are a certified wildlife habitat with a resident owl, several cardinals and a bluebird and at least one coyote who lived in the woods that we share a border with. Feral cats also often visit the garden. In the early spring people from our Asian community come to harvest new bamboo shoots. We have several chairs and two picnic tables. Many people have told us that our garden is a special, magical place and I know just what they mean. Families come down to look at our plants, read our signs and have picnics.
I helped to establish it in 2014 with several other people and I'm so glad I did.  Our mission is to encourage people in our community to grow some of the food they eat because we know of all the great benefits they and their families will get when they do this.  That is one of the reasons our garden features a variety of gardening places--from traditional in the ground plots to pots made from recycled containers.


BECOMING:  They may not look like it now, but the photo on the left shows  California giant zinnias that will bloom from June to November.
Cactus leaves or Nopales have sprouted all over the cactus in the Medicine Wheel. After they mature into full grown leaves people can eat them as a vegetable. Nopales have a moist crunchy texture with with a slightly slimy texture similar to okra. In terms of flavor, they are tart, with a slightly citrusy taste.
COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias Syriaca). Our milkweed bed for the Monarchs is coming to life.  This plant is a perennial and its leaves are the only ones that the so-called milkweed butterflies will lay their eggs on.  The Monarch butterfly is a member of that exclusive club. The Black Swallowtail butterfly, of which we have plenty, lays its eggs on plants of the carrot family which includes fennel.  We also have plenty of fennel and carrots planted at the garden.
LETTUCE, KALE, CILANTRO - This has been a great spring for lettuce and cilantro--The best I remember.
Our greens patch would make Mr. McGregor jealous.
EXPERIMENTS IN ACTION - In the photo on the left we have a yellow plastic cup that is covered in vaseline.  The idea is that aphids and gnats and other pests will fly into and get trapped.  We will monitor it carefully to ensure that we don't trap too many pollinators.  But, if we have as many aphids as we did last year, there won't be room for any pollinators.  Just above the yellow cup is a pot with a huge sage  growing in it.  The photo on the right shows a trellis for zucchini plants that I installed yesterday.  It is a cattle panel (4 x 7 feet) folded in half and  wired to two T-poles..
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