Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Here goes nothing...

This is a little experiment. I've wanted to have a garden for a long time, but alas, like many people, I don't have a yard. I don't even have a postage stamp of grass. Or a patio. Or a balcony. NO OUTSIDE SPACE.

I live in a small apartment in Santa Barbara, California. At last count I have 8 house plants- that's kind of a lot. I'm sort of a crazy cat lady, but with houseplants. It's a little bit sad. I needed to branch out!

I thankfully live in a city that has had a progressive, environmental and community minded Mayor and City Council for the past little while. Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department has 3 community gardens. Go here and click on Community Gardens under downloads to see the rundown on the program. They provide the water and tools and a little greenhouse, and I paid $60 for the whole year.

I applied in early December of 2009 to get a plot at the Pilgrim Terrace Community Garden. It is on the Westside of Santa Barbara and a 2 minute drive from my apartment. My neighborhood is actually on the other side of Highway 101 from the garden, but a pedestrian overcrossing opens up in my hood and spits you out right next to the garden area!

The application was pretty simple, you have to agree to a lot of rules, do's and don'ts, etc. There was also an in person group meeting. There was a bit of a waiting list, but they put you into a lottery and I got picked! I was told my plot was number 24.

I went to check it out on December 14th, the day before I would take possession of the plot. The plots are pretty huge, 10 feet by 20 feet. I rolled up on #24, and oh my! It was a giant weed patch. It was clear that it hadn't been tended in maybe...6 months?

I called Antonio at Parks and Rec and he said that if we requested (and you better believe I requested) they would send someone out to clear out everything in the plot so I could start fresh. He also said if there were any plants left in there that I wanted to keep, I needed to go take them out and save them.

I poked around and found that there was a pretty healthy artichoke plant, quite a few strawberries and a salvageable parsley plant. I was able to keep them alive for a few days in pots and the 'choke in a big bucket. Most of the foliage of the 'choke wilted, but it ends happily...I also got several tomato cages out of the deal.

Below is a picture of good old plot 24, post weeds.

In my next post, I'll show you the salvaged plants I replanted!


  1. Horticultural porn. I love it.

  2. i just want to tell you how much i support this project. i've realized that when the apocalypse happens, i have no skills to offer and have decided that i'm going to be a farmer. so i plan to learn and steal all of your new skills. - Kelly O :)