What a wild ride it's been for me this year! 2009 was the first year I did a Garden Group on a large scale, with approximately 130 garden members, joining us throughout the year. New people joined us in the fall, which I was so grateful for, since the gardens are as demanding now as they were in the spring.
There are different jobs throughout the garden season and they all seem to be demanding.
Some people may think that this is a great way to earn a fast buck. I know they have never gardened before. I hope to have earned at least 5 cents/hour!
Even with all the hundreds of hours that each of you have donated, which has been TRULY appreciated, it's still a lot of hard work and effort.
What can you compare it to? Any mother who has a newborn baby knows how many hours around the clock are required to care for that child. Since I am the mother of four beautiful grown children, I can relate. The gardens this year have been like having another baby. I've canceled vacations and other plans so I could stay and care for this big baby!!
Am I going to do it again next year? YES!! But with some minor changes. We will have automatic sprinklers in place in 2 of our gardens. That will cost some serious money but it will save us hundreds of hours worrying about the watering.
We're not done yet! We still have plenty to do for the entire month of October.
I do want to thank EVERYONE in our garden group, young and old, who has donated even ONE hour to help us with this giant project.
The harvest season has been amazing! Next year I want to try and motivate more people to join in the great harvest! I'll teach more food preservation classes on what to do with this abundant, delicious harvest!
All of the children who have helped us throughout the season, but especially during harvest time, have been fantastic! Every child should be part of a garden experience like this!! They will know how much work goes into the food that they take for granted. I have loved their energy and enthusiasm and I know they will have a greater desire to garden all of their lives.
In the early spring, I was reluctant to have any children involved in garden work since the work in March and April was mostly shredding leaves, tilling the ground, cutting down large tree branches using chain saws, burning branches, etc. As we started planting and especially harvesting, the children were the BEST workers!!
We offer daily garden work schedules Monday - Saturday. If you can't come to any of these, let me know, via email, when you can come and we'll work things out. Many of our garden members found a time they could commit to weekly and would become "regulars" on those days. I hope everyone will make time to do that again next year.
We did have just a few times when "unknown" people were messing with our gardens or taking produce without me knowing about it. I want everyone to get plenty of produce and help with the gardens, but I ask that you check in with me first if you want to come and get anything from the gardens or you want to donate anything to the gardens so we don't have any surprises.
I use ONE lawn care service who donates grass clippings to me. We can not handle any more than that.
Always bring your Green Garden Membership Card with you whenever you come to the gardens. We haven't had any problems this year and I am SO grateful for the calibur of people who have helped us with the gardens! But it is important to be able to identify yourself with your Garden Card, if necessary. Everyone is on the honor system so keep track of the dates and times you work in the gardens on the back of your card.
Thank you SO very much for being part of this large community garden project! We have had SO many compliments on it. We have the endorsement of Mayor Dennis Webb of Holladay. It's all because of your efforts! You are the BEST!
I hope you all join us next year for an even better garden season.