I’ve always had a romanticized notion about living in a commune. I’m sure it would be much harder than I imagine and I would probably be saying “what was I thinking?” sooner than expected, but there’s a part of me that has long held the idea that sharing the workload, expenses, and rewards would be pretty great. And why do we all need our own lawnmowers and rakes and pressure cookers and ladders and other stuff we only use once in awhile?
At this stage of my life, living in a commune is probably not an option, but we discovered a little glimpse of the idea in the Lake Highlands Community Garden. Soon after we moved here, I applied online for a plot and was informed that there was a short wait list but we might be able to get in around the first of the year when people either re-upped or dropped out. Sure enough, we received an email asking if we were still interested and did we want to start gardening in January? Yes! We were and we did!
The LHCG annual meeting is held each January, so it was a great time for us to meet other gardeners and get lots of good info. Everyone was super friendly and one guy even stated from the podium that he was an old hippie who always wanted to live in a commune. I think I have met my people! We felt so welcomed!
Our plot had been abandoned and was in sad shape, though it did have one red chard plant still growing, from which my hubby harvested the best remaining leaves and made a tasty salad for dinner. Thanks, former plot holders! They’d laid down a bunch of cardboard which was now half rotted, and placed wood chips on top of that, which is a no-no in the garden, we were informed. So our first day, documented below, we dug out the cardboard, wood chips, Bermuda grass, and trash. Several other gardeners were working so we got some good advice and suggestions along the way.
The bottom left photo is our plot “before.” Someone’s growing a nice cauliflower and some pretty beans (not us…maybe someday!) Along with a bee sanctuary, the grounds also include a butterfly garden, an herb garden, and a donation garden. In the true sense of community, wheelbarrows line up against the shed wall, shovels, hoes, and rakes hang on hooks, a stinky mound of manure rises up in the back, all available for us to use while we work in the garden. We’re all asked to participate in three community work days per year, sprucing up the grounds and the shared space instead of our own little plots those days. We’re just getting started and still learning about gardening in general and community gardening in particular, but it feels like a great place to be.