Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A new adventure--our city garden

I don't even remember what prompted me back in July of 2009 to apply for a garden plot in the community garden down the road from where we live. I suppose I had read about the garden in a magazine or newspaper, and just really liked the idea of having our own plot. Since we live in an apartment in the city, we haven't ever had the possibility to plant a real garden. So here we are at this point in our lives, about to become city gardeners. A new adventure.....

The community garden is called Egebergløkka parsellhage, and was started in 1917 as a community potato garden. One of the men who sits on the garden 'board' gave me the keys to the community garden tonight and gave me a tour of it. The community garden is a nice mix of Norwegians and non-Norwegian gardeners who grow everything from potatoes to raspberries. Two people keep bees, and sell the honey that the bees make at the end of the summer season. There are challenges in the form of garden snails (the Iberia snail being the most common) but it is possible to deal with them.

The seven-year wait was worth it, for several reasons. I took a look at the plot of land we've been allotted, and it's quite large, so we'll be able to really grow a few different kinds of vegetables. There is a lot of work to be done, but I can't wait to get started on clearing the plot and doing what's required so that we can begin to plant in mid-May. I will be planting broccoli, cauliflower, beets, spinach, and pumpkins. One of the nicest surprises was finding out that our plot has some fruit bushes already growing there--black currant (solbær), red currant (ripsbær), and gooseberry (stikkelsbær) bushes--which makes my husband very happy. Other garden plots have apple and plum trees growing there. Getting this garden plot has made me the happiest I've been in a long time. There has been so much stress and sadness this past year, that just knowing that I can be outdoors, in nature, in the sun, working in our garden, has given me back some of the joie de vivre that I seem to have lost. I am grateful for this blessing and privilege--to be near the earth and in touch with what is real and good.

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