When I was whining about leaving my garden behind, my friend Tona asked me if there was a community garden that I could participate in so I could feed my gardening addiction. I really didn’t expect to find one. Around here people aren’t usually looking for an opportunity to garden when they either do it for a living or can just buy from the people who do.
Imagine my surprise to discover that not only is there a community garden, but it’s run and funded by my church, and I can just show up and harvest whatever I want.
I don’t know all the details behind it, but it’s common for us LDSaints to have big projects like this so that the people accepting financial help from the church have a way to contribute in return. Right next to the building I attend we have a pavilion and a ballfield, and then about an acre of farmland currently growing onions, potatoes, corn and tomatoes.
I met my friend Amber out in the field and she helped me get set up, holding Atti while I built him some shade and showing me how to harvest the potatoes. Atti’s always been super cooperative with my gardening efforts, so I thought it would be no big deal to toss him on a blanket while I got to work.
But I was totally wrong about that.
I really failed to take into account just how unbelievably hot it can get around here. I brought a big basket full of toys, our jumbo picnic blanket and a tent for shade, plus my camera, some bags for produce and Mr. Atti himself, and between the hauling everything back and forth, wrestling with the canopy, and rushing to get him settled, I had totally exhausted myself before I even thought about a potato.
I managed to make enough of a harvest to still make it worth the time, and Amber went across the field to pick my onions for me, so I left with a ton of good stuff. But man was it hard work in that heat. By the time I finished pulling potatoes, I still had to make five trips across an acre of dirt to load everything into the car. When I was so hot I could barely stand on my feet. I made the first load and had to lie down under a shady tree while Atti was still across the field in his tent. I have to confess, I was getting a little worried.
Remember last summer when I kept going from one doctor to another? Their final determination was that I have a heart murmur, but not the scary kind. The kind that is totally no big deal, I’d live my whole life and not notice, nothing to worry about unless I exert myself in the heat. Oh yeah.
Luckily I just needed that little rest and I was able to get us all loaded and back home none the worse for the wear, but I realized that taking Atti along on my little farm adventures is probably not such a good idea. Next time I’ll leave Atti with a friend in exchange for farm fresh produce.
In a couple of weeks the corn will be ready, and then a few weeks after that we’ll have tomatoes. I plan on canning so many of them my fingers will turn red. I want to can them whole and diced and turned into marinara. I can’t wait.