Sunday, November 2, 2008

No work shortage here

As the coordinator of yesterday's work day at the MSG, Jennifer from the Steering Committee had a variety of tasks to delegate to the participants, including some who were there to have another chance to finish their annual 4-hour work requirement.  An Excel spreadsheet documenting work hours that was sent to gardeners earlier last week revealed that over 20 plot holders have fallen short in their duties.  But there was no shortage of items on Jennifer's checklist.  Overflowing compost containers needed to be dealt with; some of them bore signs declaring that they were "closed," while volunteers were piling excess garden waste onto a tarp, I assume to be picked up with other yard waste on trash day or brought to some other location.  Last year around this time, the containers were so full, often a result of everyone pulling out their annual plants and weeds as they put their gardens to bed, that they were removed, and everyone had to carry out their garden waste.    

Some other workers were digging around trees that had been planted after the garden was rebuilt in 2004, because the roots were not at a healthy depth.  I agreed to mow the grass in the dog area; as pleasant as it was to work in the shade, I found out the hard way that not everyone had been cleaning up after their pets.

And, like at a previous work day, more native plants were put in.  In some cases, making room for them can be irritating.  Curtis was wearing thick rubber gloves to remove stinging nettles, which have making inroads from their usual location along the fences, where they are usually kept at bay through mowing.  That would not have been my first choice of work day task, but Curtis didn't mind, as he appreciates the plant's medicinal qualities.  I've spoken to a few gardeners over the years who swear by nettles, not for the medieval practice of whipping patients with paralysis, but for making a tea from the dried leaves to treat infections, pain, hay fever, and other conditions.

Over by the children's play area, on the way to the Williams Street entrance, holes were being dug and leveled with gravel to make way for a memorial to John Carroll, the first person to garden on the lot.  He passed away nearly one year ago, but not without having a chance to witness much of the work that had been put in to preserve the beauty and function of this area, for both gardeners and non-gardeners.

No comments: