I encountered nearly a dozen people gardening, walking dogs, or just relaxing on the stone benches. Asa, my plot neighbor, was there with her two sons, including her not-so-newborn, whom I met for the first time. When I arrived she was finishing up a task that was on top of my agenda: weeding and thinning the strawberries, and making sure that the patch was free of bindweed. In the presentation at last week's meeting, the Steering Committee warned that this highly invasive weed has a tendency to spread among strawberries; both plants have persistent root systems. Bindweed continues to threaten the MSG. An investigation by the Steering Committee revealed that about four plots are so seriously infested that the soil in them may need to be replaced. Although I saw one plot covered with plastic yesterday, it was not announced which areas were affected.
On a brighter note, my spinach and lettuce are starting to appear. As you can see in this photo, our soil is littered with small rocks, presumably washed or blown in from the footpaths, so the spinach sprouts may be hard to notice. I ran into another gardener who shared my complaint that the peas (which I planted nearly two weeks ago at home) have yet to be seen.
Then we turned the faucets--still no water. When I asked Allan from the Steering Committee about this, he joked that he should just make a pin that says "April 23" and wear it everywhere because of all the times he's been asked. The water won't be turned on for another few weeks. The copper pipes don't benefit from the same warmth as those in our homes so it's best to wait until they are no longer frozen and at risk of bursting. With more showers in the forecast today, we probably won't have to haul too much water to encourage more growth. It is April in Boston, after all.