Don't Let Up
Once a templet is set it needs further testing - By
the informative articles printed in The Mercury Pottstown's new Community Garden on Chestnut St. is a huge success in bringing people together for a common purpose. Planned and organized well, we can only hope the vegetable gardens will produce eatables throughout the summer and deep into fall.
Our family gardened when I was a youngster. Early on in the spring the project was Dad's with my brother and I as his helpers. Of course Andy and I spaded the ground after spreading winter ashes and leaf mold from the woods over the whole plot. Dad did the fine raking of the loosened soil and laid out with string lines how the planting rows would look.
With the coming of summer came the multiple lives of the weeds. The garden became not Dad's now, but ours, with him picking any ripe vegetables while my brother and I did all the hoeing and hand weeding. By fall the garden became, your's in Dad's mind, so it seemed. His interest waned over the summer, I believe, because a garden can become quit messy and needing a lot of work : weeding, hoeing, watering, straw mulching under the tomatoes, removing spent plants. The clean uniformity of fresh spring ground lost its appeal as summer advanced and the randomness of growing took over the project to Dad's displeasure, who was a draftsman by profession. He needed sharp clean lines and a measured regularity of plant spacings.
I can only hope there aren't too many Dads like mine but rather a lot of worker bees to look after the new gardens. Further, I hope this project can be replicated at each Pottstown school site throughout the borough. School locations are spread out all over the town and certainly each has a relatively small area which could be dedicated to a Community Garden. All it takes is the asking without listening to "NO" as an answer from administrators.
What about any of the churches which have open lawn space just being mowed now, wouldn't vegetables grow especially well at these sacred grounds ? Raised bed growing can occur on top of hard surfaces even parking lots since growing takes place in amended soils piled above the ground surface. Raised bed growing is more like growing in pots where the roots confine themselves within the soil median rather than growing in a plowed soil like a traditional farmer would prepare. For years we've heard of roof top growing which is essentially raised bed growing but up on the top of buildings.
A successful templet has been unfolded and, in my mind, should be replicated throughout the town as far as the energy and interest of interested citizens will take it. I compliment those who brought this project from a thought to fruition through dogged determination. Thank You !
Ronald C. Downie