Gloves, Check. Hoe, Check. Shovel, Check. Baseball hat and water bottle? Check check. Overalls? Check, wait just kidding I’m not really wearing overalls. Ok I’m ready for my first day of gardening! Can’t be too hard right? Let’s back up for a minute.
I went to Culinary School for the past year and a half and in that time I spent a ton of time with food. We were in class reading about food, watching videos about food, baking off food, prepping food, and then going home and dreaming about food and where it comes from. That is a lot of food time! I have always had a passion for baking and food but through my journey at Culinary school I really began to think more about where food comes from and the process people take to obtain it.
I had searched community gardens in Alexandria, VA on the web and found GW Community Garden. I saw that the application submission period was already closed for 2015. I made a power fist at this point and yelled out “No!!!!! I want to plant Lima beans!” Living in a tiny apartment in Old Town with no yard is not conducive to gardening so I had hoped I would be able to join a community garden. I sent an email to GW Community Garden asking if they take volunteers as a Hail Mary attempt. I think in my email I stated, I won’t take any produce, I promise I will work really hard and I just want experience gardening. A couple of hours later I received a response, “We had a cancellation would you like to join?” I immediately accepted and then began compiling my gardening gear.
I have only been gardening for a couple of weeks; at this point I am probably the most amateur gardener of 2015. Already I have learned so much and I feel accomplished as little buds begin to appear above the dirt. I have helped fill up wheelbarrows with chips and pour it on the wire grass. I have planted some seeds and even weeded! Everyone has been so nice and helpful so far and thank goodness no one has judged my amateur questions and comments of “How do you open these seed packets?” “What does a weed look like?” and “Please don’t tell anyone that I knocked over the wheelbarrow full of chips!” I feel very welcome and am so happy to help in this experience. Each week I learn a little more and get a tiny bit more comfortable in the garden. Perhaps so comfortable that at some point this summer I will break out my overalls, well let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s see how my first watering shift goes. Are you a beginning gardener? What are the biggest challenges you have faced thus far? Is it figuring out how many seeds to put in each row? Let me know!