Plot 30

an urban co-op garden adventure

Memories of warmer, greener days

Hi everyone,

Now with winter fully upon us, take a moment to reflect on those halcyon days of our summer adventure at Plot 30, when snow was but a distant memory … (photos taken right before clearing out the last of the harvest)

I sent our feedback to Michelle as follows:

  1. Was the Central Park location convenient for you? YES
    What ward or neighbourhood do you live in? Various
  2. Was having parking an important feature? YES, when having to transport equipment and during the harvesting, but mainly we walked over from our workplace in Central Park during routine tending.
  3. Was having a washroom close by important? NOT REALLY, but it was nice to have close when needed.
  4. Was the set up for water access convenient? YES, rain barrels worked well and hose access was good.
  5. Was the $50 plot fee a reasonable amount? YES
  6. Was it helpful having the shed supplied with common use tools? YES
  7. Was the size of plot too large, too small or ok? OK; it was perfect!
  8. Were you pleased with the soil fertility in the plots? YES, very pleased.
  9. Did you add compost or fertilizer to the soil? NO
  10. What kind of growing success did you have? GREAT
  11. Did you learn new information about growing over the season? YES, from other colleagues (11 colleagues shared plot)
  12. Was having a garden coordinator helpful to you? YES
  13. What communication method reached you most?  In person conversation, e-mail, white & chalk boards in shed. Email
  14. Did you attend the gardener meetings? TRIED: we planned to have a representative at each meeting, with mixed success.
  15. Did you read gardener meeting minutes? ALWAYS
  16. Did you read the Go Local Food newsletter? SOMETIMES
  17. Did you attend the harvest picnics? NONE
  18. Did you attend any of the program workshops? YES – first one.  If yes, would you like to see any of the speakers again? What workshop topics would interest you? One on planning a garden for the local growing zone would be helpful.
  19. Did you eat fresh healthier food more this season? If yes, did growing your own make this more accessible or did you just buy more local fresh food, or both? YES, YES and YES
  20. Did you meet new people and create any new friendships? NO new friends, but did strengthen existing ties with colleagues – very nice. We developed a blog and schedules for tending, watering, and harvesting.
  21. Did you enjoy your time in the garden? YES, very much!
  22. Did this opportunity to garden help you be more active than usual? YES, absolutely.
  23. Did you decide to participate again in the lottery for 2013? YES
  24. Did you speak with visitors inquiring about the garden? YES, about 6 visitors
  25. Did involving volunteers to tend the perennials and Victory gardens surrounding the fence seem a worthwhile feature to the garden? YES
  26. Did you visit the Go Local Food Network website informative? If yes, did you find it useful? YES and YES
  27. Was there anything unsafe in the garden, or any program improvements you’d suggest? NO
  28. Feel free to add any further comments you’d like to share:

The Community Garden was a wonderful experience – many, many thanks to all involved – especially Michelle Bennett, gardener, advocate, mentor, and caretaker extraordinaire,  for creating this learning, sharing, and fun opportunity. Dirty hands = smiling faces!  ~ The gang from Plot 30

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2012 Central Park Community Garden & Program Survey

Hi Everyone,

Lauren and I thought we should answer these as Plot 30, so please add any comments you would like to each of the questions below. We need to submit this by Thursday Nov 1. Sorry about the short notice and thanks for your timely input. [questions and draft responses removed – see Dec 27 post for final submission – LA]

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Michelle’s contact info

FYI, Michelle’s contact info:

Michelle Bennett

Program Coordinator, Go Local Food Network


Twitter @groweatlocal #CentralParkCommunityGarden

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Clear out update

email from Michelle Bennett:

Hi All,

Thanks to all those that have already cleared out your plots.  A few still have to do this by this weekend please.  If plots are not cleared out within reason I have no choice but to indicate a mark against your chances in the event of your name is drawn again for next season as we do need to follow the garden rules even at the end of the season (and I’d really not like to be stuck clearing out more plants than I already have to).

Still no word from Parks about taking away leaf bags so please do bring them home if you can.

If any have perennials like sage or thyme you do not intend to take home please do not throw them out.  Leave them in a pot near the shed, and I will know to plant them in the victory beds.

If any would like to donate the food that is still in your plot for the next food bank donation please give me permission to pick over the next few days.  Thanks Bella for the celery and Lisa for the tomatoes.  Please note, picking food for donation does not mean I’m willing to clear out the plants from your plot 🙂

Again, I hope you all enjoyed this season and I look forward to seeing you in 2013 one way or another.

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Plot 30 “and so to bed”

email from Linda: I went to the garden this morning to take down the trellis and saw that the garden had been hit by frost and most of what was left in the garden was no more. I cleaned up the nasturtiums, the flowers and the basil and took them home to my compost bin.

The garden is almost “put to bed” there are quite a few onions,and about three pots of herbs which someone may want to take home. The tomato cages are still there,I am not sure who provided them.

Also Michelle was talking to me about the possibility of a garden in the Aldershot area. She wondered if the Aldershot branch might have space available to offer Burlington Green the same kind of relationship which was established with Central? Any thoughts? I guess Allison is the person to ask????

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Final harvests

Thanks for all your hard work, Linda. I was just at the plot and saw how tidy everything is! I spoke with Michelle, who was harvesting the outer garden, and she said that Oct 20 is the date to have our garden cleared completely. She also asked me to pass along that if anyone is interested in applying for their own plot next year, to apply under your own name. If  we want to submit as a group again, we’ll need to apply as an organization. I’m pretty sure that’s what we did this year, right Susan?

So, if there is something you want, perhaps Friday is the best day to take it. The marigolds are still going strong if anyone wants to re-pot for your own fall garden. I deadheaded all the mums on Friday after work and saw *lots* of buds.

Anything that’s left after this weekend, let’s plan to clear it out on Monday, Oct 15 at lunch time.

Cheers, Lauren

email from Cecilia:

Forecast indicates for Friday night that we are going down to zero.  Should we remove the rest before then?

email from Linda:

Hi folks,

Since  the season is drawing to a close I went to the garden on Monday and pulled out the tomatoes, the kale, and the brussels. Its true that the brussels and the kale could have gone on a little longer but the seasons are changing and the opportunity to clean things up was there … So what remains in the garden are nasturtiums, pots of herbs, onions,marigolds and a sunflower.

I have kale, green tomatoes and a few brussels if anyone would like some. I can bring them to work tomorrow and store them in the fridge.

I plan on taking down the trellis sometime this week.Someone may want to take home the herbs.

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What Next?

Just wondering if it is time to harvest everything in the garden and close out for the winter? What is our game plan? Should we organize a day to do this? I have a wine crate under my desk that we can use to hold anything we pick–any thoughts?

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Bumper crop of kale

Kumkum and I spent a delightful hour this afternoon at Plot 30. We weeded, thinned, and picked. It looks like we will be harvesting our kale for a while yet, so here are instructions on how to blanch kale for freezing so you can enjoy the fresh taste of summer all winter. Cheers, Lauren

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Split carrots and little white bugs


My mom kindly helped me do some weeding at the plot tonight. When we harvested some carrots though we noticed some had split and had little white bugs making home inside the split. Any thoughts? I pitched these ones…after running them under the tap the lil bugs would still not disappear! We still have a number of monster carrots to go along with Amanda’s monster beet however!

I also noticed what seems to be tiny mushrooms sprouting by the tomatoes. Any cause for concern?


Get thee to thine garden!

I was out at lunch today watering and harvesting and wowza! What a bumper crop we have right now. I pulled quite possibly the largest beet I’ve ever seen from our wee plot. Seriously. This beet is a monster. So big, in fact, that garden volunteer lady (I’m sorry, I can’t remember her name… ) took a photo for prosperity.  I felt a bit like this guy…  *wink*

Alongside Monster Beet (it’ll be a shame to eat him, as I feel like we have a relationship now that I’ve named him…) I got myself some super huge carrots and of course, more kale for my chips. Oh, and I also tugged off a pocket full of tomatoes, hot off the vine and super sweet.

Get thee to thine garden, fellow gardeners, and harvest thine crop. Katie, Lauren, and Linda I believe it’s our week, although I’d encourage others to pull too so that nothing goes to rot (as per the minutes from the last meeting). The beets are super squished and pushing up out of the soil now, alongside big fatty carrots.

Thinking it’s time we pitched the herbs… Yes? I can do that Thursday at lunch.

Also… *scuffs toe*… Volunteer lady hinted that we were behind with our weeding, mainly referring to the giant weeds growing behind our trellis. I pulled and I pulled and I pulled with all my might and took out the two trees weeds sprouting in behind our plot but there are a few dandelions I wasn’t able to get to. I gather she’s none to pleased with our errant neighbors and has requested that they “kindly harvest their rotting vegetables”.  I for one don’t want to get on the bad side of this wonderful organization, nor do I think anyone else would either!

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