As anticipated, tropical storm Hanna soaked the Boston area, postponing our late-summer Minton Stable Garden/Stoneybrook Neighborhood Association potluck barbecue until Sunday, September 7. This turn of events worked in my favor as all of my family could attend. Moreover, the stable weather (clearing and in the 70s) ensured a successful turnout.
I arrived at the MSG about an hour before, to put in a little plot maintenance. In the shady grassy area near the corner of Williams Street and Dungarven Road a 4-year-old's birthday party was in full swing. Then a rented trolley pulled up, and Valerie Burns, President of the Boston Natural Areas Network, gave a group of supporters a tour of the garden (see bottom photo).
About a dozen or more volunteers showed up around 4:00 to help set up for the barbecue. A new twist to the event was the idea that people should wear name tags, and many of the early participants, including myself, complied. It seemed to some of us that the name tags made it easier to strike up conversations with people we may not have spoken to otherwise.
Within an hour the elements of a successful event were in place: lots of people, side dishes like pasta salads, tomato salads, rice, tabouleh, and corn bread, plenty to drink and chicken, sausages, and hot dogs coming off the three grills (thanks to Annette, Curtis, John L. and others).
The only detour from the party was a scheduled portrait of the gardeners taken by Jennifer from the Steering Committee. The photo of us in front of the garden shed will be presented to the New England Grassroots Environmental Foundation as a thanks for their help with its construction. The photo at the top of this post shows us assembling (I am still mystified over why I can't place photos in the right location!).
It was great to catch up with some folks I haven't seen all summer and to watch Mitchell (by far the oldest kid in the neighborhood) entertain us with his remote-control helicopter. I hope to see them again around the garden a few more times as we try to squeeze out what's left of the summer.