Gardening with Friends and Others

Audrey J. Powers


Gardening is extra than planting some seeds and a flower or two. It is an expertise of interacting with soil, h2o, sunshine, insects, birds, pests and pollinators, and Persons, the community. It is a entire interactive financial investment in lifestyle. Since I was aged enough to pull weeds with my mom and sister, I have participated in gardening. I may not have often appreciated the weeds, but as I have gotten older, I comprehend that sharing my enjoy of growing items has grown me!

Companion planting generally refers to putting vegetation collectively that complement every other:  Tomatoes and basil (the basil repels pests and enhances the taste of tomatoes), and marigolds planted in the garden are excellent insect repellants. (Francie McGowan’s great article on this is listed here) But I assume that gardening with many others is yet another way to “companion plant.” One particular of my neighbors shares her grass clippings with me, as I appreciate to “make” compost. She saves rubbish waste, and I share the compost back with her. Gardening with 4-H has supplied me so a lot enjoyment: listening to stories of mothers, and grandmothers and their strategies passed on viewing youthful men and women get fired up about finding and eating raw broccoli, peppers, carrots and the question of their vitality as they help wheelbarrow six cubic yards of compost into raised beds! I have also learned that I can share my “girlie” rototiller with a neighbor and master how she helps make attractive, artistic beds and paths, as well as the laughter and exciting of her minor women running about. My tours of neighborhood ranches were being eye-opening and remarkable, exposing me to permaculture approaches that boost the soil and interact pretty properly with local wildlife (even the deer).

The Learn Gardener system courses I took—propagation, soil management, IPM (integrated pest administration)—were not only instructional, but released me to some others who’ve turn out to be friends. Sharing a farming undertaking with a friend, I’ve found out new, pleasurable methods to sow seeds. I read tales of some of her adventures in youth (wow!) and shared laughter alongside with the lettuces we grew! I would never ever have experienced the chance to transplant wild iris, if my son hadn’t completed his Eagle Scout challenge in the Sierra, creating a new route. Even while many of us finished up with poison oak, it was continue to a fantastic experience and memory of shared moments and functioning together. Helping with a neighborhood-project backyard garden (like the Grasp Gardener demonstration yard in Sonora) gives me a opportunity to get soiled, sweaty, and laugh with others, whilst sharing some of the bounty, participating in education, and educating. Having sweaty and soiled may perhaps not attractiveness to all people, but who can’t relate to “accidentally” acquiring squirted with a hose, oops, by a teen?

So, plant basil with your peppers and tomatoes. Plant corn, beans and squash, the “Three Sisters,” to guidance and improve one particular another. But do some of this along with other individuals. Share your bounty, your blooms and your adventures with other folks around you. All will benefit and mature in companionship and relationships.

Nancy Bliss is a College of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener of Tuolumne County.

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