Disclaimer: As a #Saturday6 blogger, the Troy-Bilt products in this post were provided at no cost to me. All opinions, however favorable, are my own.
I started The Rainforest Garden for my Lupus inflicted mother, but now that she has passed, I've moved what plants I could to my apartment complex. Her life was dedicated to loving and giving to her neighbors here on earth, and I fully intend to do so in my own special way. I know that would have wanted me to keep gardening for others who really need it. I might not have much money, but I can at least try to use my gardening to give others joy - not to mention some really yummy food.
But just like you wouldn't consider treating your family to a home cooked meal to be a donation, this is no charity. Gardeners share their plants with others just because they can, and not out of any moral obligation. Sharing is just what gardeners do best, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to pass along whatever I'm able with such wonderful people. Thanks to my property manager and neighbors, our humble apartment complex feels like a small-scale Pleasantville where everybody waves with a hearty greeting as you pass. It's a community well worth any investment.
|The plantings here get no irrigation, but the vegetable gardens will be watered by hose.|
The existing gardens already have bananas, fruit trees and some herbs, but what I really want to do is provide the apartment residents with a healthy diet of organic heirloom vegetables and herbs. Many of my neighbors (myself included) often get their lunches to go from nearby fast food restaurants, but I'm pretty sure that they would happily indulge in a community barbecue with fresh grilled heirloom peppers and onions for their burgers, or rosemary for their pork tenderloin. I plan on scheduling 'harvest days' on the weekends, in which I would distribute bags of free fresh produce to the neighbors on a first-come, first served basis; and might even get started making preserves while I'm at it.
I will do most of the gardening myself, but will also create a row of allotments so that neighbors can participate in the fun and socialize. I hope to install some raised beds as soon as I can find an affordable way of making them attractive enough for a commercial property. I'm all ears for any recommendations!
I apologize if the narration and camera work on these videos seems amateurish, but I just couldn't wait to share how my community garden is doing. Feel free to share any video shooting tips!
First off, here's a video showing what I've accomplished within a little over a year. Just about all of these plants were out of my own pocket, but they have already spread and multiplied enough that I might have to do some division next year!
You'll also notice the Troy-Bilt cultivator and Neighborhood Rider mower that I will be trying out shortly. I might (will) even be giving one of them away! Spoiler alert: It handles and maneuvers like a dream and turns on a dime. Check out this blog post on my adventures with the #Saturday6 to see me racing with Amy from Get Busy Gardening!
|Where I will be planting the vegetable garden|
In this video you'll see the future site of our vegetable garden. It isn't huge, but there's plenty of space for me to utilize via vertical gardening and (hopefully) raised beds.
Finally, here's a video showing another area that I've started landscaping. The crinums fill out the bulk of the bed and have a ragged and untidy look, but the new plantings will eventually fill out to cover the exposed crinum necks and add a lot of interest. I will also eventually plant more Russelia and Lantana along the edge of the bed.
I'm beyond thrilled to take on this new project and would love to hear your advice! What would you do if you had the chance to start your own community garden?