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Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

I recently became a member of Arganica, a “food club” that offers year-round access to locally-sourced, artisanal and organic foods delivered right to your door. (I like that last part the best…)

Unlike a typical CSA share, Arganica lets you choose what you receive each week instead of just giving you a box filled with random fruits and vegetables. However, since I bought my membership through a special Groupon deal, one of my benefits is a free produce crate, which is… a box filled with random fruits and vegetables.

So now I’ve got a fridge full of carrots, strawberries, broccoli, apples, oranges, beets, onions and more. And I’ve got to figure out what to do with them all before they go bad.

I’ve already bookmarked recipes for a carrot-cumin salad, broccoli soup and a strawberry crumble…

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I walked by my old garden this morning on the way back from the gym. There’s nothing much there now except some dried up plants and an empty tool shed.

The garden closed down last fall after the owner of the land decided to use it for construction staging this year. I had inherited a plot from my good friend Pam when she left town, but unfortunately I only had it for about five months.

On tap for 2012? The search for a new patch of dirt to call my own…

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Even when you live in the city, nature can be really amazing.

This is a picture of the street I live on. Every fall, the gingko trees that line the sidewalk turn a brilliant golden yellow, and the entire block is lit up for a couple of weeks. And then it seems like overnight, the leaves fall onto the ground, and the whole street is covered.

Lots of people stop and take pictures. This year, I did too…

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The community garden closes permanently at the end of this month, so since I’ll be out of town starting on Wednesday, I went there this weekend for the last time.

The peppers were pretty much tapped out, but I still got a big bowl of cherry tomatoes, and more were just starting to ripen on the vine. I also dug up the carrots and beets I planted a couple of months ago, but they either needed more time to grow or didn’t make it.

Finally, I gathered up the ornaments that Pam left behind when she moved home and passed the garden on to me. I had been keeping them around for luck, and I think they worked. Even when I was too tired after work or the gym to water, the garden still produced. Right until the end.

I’m not sure where my next patch of earth will be. But I hope to find it soon…

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Today was my first day of vacation (not counting the weekend), so I was finally able to spend some time in the garden. I cut back some of the branches on the tomato plants and pulled up several bunches of weeds.

I also planted some seeds that I’m hoping will grow in time for a fall harvest. The tomatoes are still coming in, and I have about six green bell peppers and five eggplants to pick in the next couple of weeks. But I wanted to make sure I have more home-grown vegetables now that summer is ending, so I planted some carrots, beets, swiss chard and lima beans. (And let me tell you, I really felt like I had found some rural roots when I was digging in that soil.)

While I was working, a woman came by the garden. She was from Germany, and she was in the United States touring community gardens. (She is apparently involved in the community garden movement back home.) She complimented ours as having a true “community” feel, with shared tools and an open plan, unlike others she had seen that seemed more “everyone for themselves.” I told her that the garden was actually scheduled to be shut down in November, and she asked if there was anything she could do to help save it, which was nice to hear.

Apparently, it will take about sixty days for the seeds I planted to mature (the beets should come in a little sooner than the rest). I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll actually grow.

And there’s a small chance that the garden might be spared. So I’ve got something else to hope for…

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Just wanted to share some pics from my visit to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair today. It was a perfect day for it. There was a huge storm yesterday evening, but this afternoon was bright and sunny. A little too hot, but it just made the ice cream taste that much better.

Keep reading…

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In the city, outdoor space is at a premium. If you’re lucky enough to be living somewhere that actually has a yard, your friends will be extremely jealous of you. That’s why the Temple Garden community garden at the Scottish Rite Temple┬áis so great.

It gives people who don’t have outdoor space at home the opportunity to rent out a small plot of land for their own garden. It’s been there for more than twenty years, but unfortunately, it looks like it will be closing in a few months because of need for the land as part of a repair project at the Temple.

It’s a sad situation, because it’s really a very special place. The hope is that the gardeners and the Temple can find some way to accommodate everyone and not have to destroy the garden. Keep reading…

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