Community gardening is the neighborly way to go

I am slightly disappointed in some of my vegetables, specifically the jalapeño peppers and beets. They have not grown an inch…literally. It was recently brought to my attention (as in hindsight) not to fret too much as the seeds might have been too old to sow. Never thought about that aspect.
Planting my vegetable garden has kind of taken on a life of its own. Neighbors now talk with me at the fence and discuss a myriad of things from farming patterns, to the unusual consistent damp weather (until recently), to the pesky weeds, to plants finally emerging big time.
As you know, I have talked and written about community gardening on a continuous basis (some might say ad nauseam). Come to think about it, this is what I am doing.  I am providing an outlet for those who want to talk over the fence but really feel stuck as to what to say. The garden provides that opening. Now everyone else talks ad nauseam about what I’m planting, how I’m planting it and how I’m trying to keep those darn pesky weeds out of the garden. I love it.
Community gardening is a way in which neighbors can connect, even if it’s just during a growing season. This is the time of year in which the earth grants people the right to put their fingers in it and make it better, fuller, fruitier, or prettier by planting and pruning. Community gardening offers an avenue to those who might never have wanted to grow anything before and now cannot remember why they ever disliked the thought.
Bringing food to the table that we personally grow is not easy work. We watch it constantly, water it often, prune it repeatedly and chase off pesky pests on a daily basis. Most of us feel fulfilled. I believe part of our reward is the smile we can feel growing while watching the faces of those we see eating and enjoying our food. I think the other reward is the smile we bring to the faces of others who watch, assist, converse, learn, impart and wait with baited breath for something…anything to grow.
I have to say the garden is coming along beautifully. I caught a smidgen of poison ivy (probably left behind by a raccoon), but I’m working the “back 40” as they say, and lovin’ every minute of it.
Even if nothing grew in the garden – dedication, perseverance, responsibility and commitment grew in me. 
Peace.
JoAnn

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