Work bee

The school garden we created this spring has been thriving this summer. Thanks to the attention of a legion of waterers, weeders and builders—parents, teachers and kids—it’s growing and producing fruit and generally providing people with a lot of satisfaction. We harvested our first zucchini and green pepper, as well as lots of basil, beans and raspberries.

Last week, we had a work bee to get at some of those nagging tasks that never seem to get completed—like staking and pruning. Some parents also built and dug in a new set of in-ground composters—a huge task that took them into the night. I brought some pesto I made from the basil in the garden to share on crusty bread, and it was fun to see everyone and for all of us to see that our efforts are paying off.

I think one of the big reasons the group is working so well is that people seem to be taking on jobs and running with them. With a bunch of busy people involved, it’s really the only way it can work.

I also think that the dog walkers, daycares and families that use the school grounds during the summer are interested in what we’re doing, as well as surprised and pleased to see people looking after it so well, which means more engaged eyes on the plot—and a more connected community.

(Check out this great article at Grist for another story about the fruits of a community’s labour in its NYC urban garden.)

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