I expect the men to work in this garden as if they were working in the garden of a client; ultimately leaving the garden in better shape than they found it. They are learning to transplant, harvest, deadhead and weed within our garden. Because of their hard work they are now seeing the end results of organic and quiet gardening. Even though the men would like to use mowers, blowers and other power tools we continue to focus on “fine” gardening. I share my skills and gardening knowledge with the men and they share their results with others — The men enjoy leaving flowers for visitors and with any luck we will begin to share produce as well.
The goal of the Maintenance Collaborative is job skill creation. While the men are learning wonderful skills in the Emerald Necklace parks they learn equally valuable skills on Wednesdays back at the garden. Now we must turn both of these types of skills into jobs.
The peonies are gone but not forgotten. We cut every last one of their heavy blossom; some dirty from their visit to the ground; others buoyant and lofty still in their swaying youth. Their look reminds me of an old Dutch masters oil painting from the 16th century that you could see in a museum.
The pea blossoms have turned into dangling green earrings as they come to fruition.
and the strawberries, oh the strawberries….
The potatoes are blossoming…
The kale is crinkly and thriving…
and the mail order roses that looked like dead sticks now look majestic and triumphant..