My mother likes to say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I have been intending, every day, to update you on the progress of our retro Victory Garden The Peterson Garden Project. However between my day job and early mornings/late nights at the garden the last few weeks are a blur.
Luckily this photo – plus an excerpt from an email I received from one of our amazing volunteers (thank you, Les!) last night – kind of says it all. (I’m out of town for work and missing all the fun!)
“Okay…coming in this evening was quite spectacular. People were already working in the garden and as time went on, people were bringing in plants, shovels, and their excited faces; ready to plant in their wonderful garden space! Definitely was a great feeling just watching these people. I didn’t even work on my plot because I didn’t want to take up any shovels or wheelbarrows, they seem so happy to work and I didn’t want to stop them!!! So fun and I’m so happy to be part of this. I just kept thinking as the next group kept coming, about the movie “Field of Dreams,” …”if you build it, they will come.” And they did and this wasn’t even half of the garden who came out. I’m sure this weekend will bring a drove of people, already caring for their plants or starting to fill their beds with soil or helping each other out, which I’ve seen neighbors doing already!!!”
That a very rewarding icing on a two-week cake that has consisted of lots of logistical “opportunities” with the delivery of supplies. Suffice it to say, we did about a month’s worth of work in two weeks – rain or shine. And, frustratingly, I have to say, more rain than shine.
We cleaned the site of trash and debris, shoveled/raked 250 cubic yards of wood chips and built our 140 raised beds in about four days (there was a huge sense of urgency after our lumber delivery was delayed for two weeks).
We kicked off the work on May 21 (it rained later in the day – of course) with an old-school ground breaking. And I had to throw a quick sing-a-long in there to maximize the morale boosting quota as my duties as Block Captain require… Pat O’ Connor, hero/alderman, the property owners, Asian Human Services, and about 30 gardeners and others turned out for the ceremony… it was a lot of fun…
There’s so much more to say about this fantastic project… my goal with these posts is to tie in what we’re doing now with what was done almost 68 years ago during the Victory Garden movement. Records don’t capture the emotions of those gardeners who used this land before us. Certainly the war may have made their motivations and perspectives much different than ours. But I can speak for our gardeners today… starting just over a month ago, April 26 to be exact, this project has allowed neighbors to become friends, complete strangers to become team mates and a nasty empty lot has become a garden… or, as one of our volunteers penned on that marker… perhaps a revolution?