Getting Jesse a plot at the community gardens is one of my best ideas ever. He has always loved putzing around in the tiny bit of dirt in front of their apartment and then in front of our condo. Mr. 6 LOVES tomatoes so it's exciting for him as well.
Jesse spent a good month or so researching what to grow ... things that are expensive to buy ... and how to get a good amount of produce from a small spot. You would not believe how many free software programs are available to help you plan. He watches YouTube videos from other NW farmers. One guy makes his living by selling to restaurants and Farmer's Market from just one acre of land. Now he plants exactly what the local chefs want.
At first he thought he could never use all the space in a 10' x 10' so was going to plant flowers in half. Now he has upgraded to a 20' x 20' garden! He researches seeds like they were nuggets of gold. He's started a small compost bin (ssshhhh ... don't let the mean crabby lady know) and has been reclaiming used pallets to make panels for his raised beds (yes, she complains about that a lot!) (The Board told her as long as he was actively working, this is not an issue. So then she complained about the noise. Board asked ALL of our neighbors if the pallets bothered them or if the noise bothered them ... Nope!)
(the red squares are being cleared for new "farmers")
And it's not just HIS/our garden he's working on. He had to take two 3 hour classes on gardening. He has to contribute 5 hours a month to the Luscher Farm park ... cleaning out old beds, putting down cardboard paths, working with kids at all the camps they hold for them. They still have not told him which plot is his! He's chomping at the bit to transplant.
Every year there is an "auction" for open plots. IF you already have a plot and want to keep it, you can putter year round. If you don't like the location of your plot, you get first dibs on any plots that are open. There is a small barn where they keep community tools and wheelbarrows and wood chips for spreading on pathways. You can keep all produce or you can donate to the Adult Community Center for their daily lunches.
We may not have as much fresh food this year since he is building his infrastructure, including amending the soil and adding more soil. He has compost tea bubbling outdoors. He bought worm castings and next year he will have experience!
Let me know if you'd like a $30 tomato!