Our little 0.0018 acre: Sleepy time

A week ago, we put our baby (allotment) to bed. Our community garden project of Summer 2009 was a qualified success.

It got us back into the vegetable gardening groove, something my husband and I hadn’t done since  becoming parents, nearly 25 years ago. And it gave us modest returns on our investment and labours; enough to encourage us to try again next year, preferably earlier than mid-July.

Ours is one of the many community gardens in the Toronto Community Garden Network, the volunteer-driven organization that seems to have replaced the old Toronto Parks & Rec allotment gardens Mr. TG and I used back in the late 70s and early 80s… and I still bemoan letting our Leslie Street plot go after we bought our first house.


This two-year-old article from The Torontoist gives some of the backstory on the City’s now seemingly secret allotment garden system. Trying to get one’s garden forks on a Leslie Street spot these days is like trying to find Sasquatch or perhaps the Holy Grail. I know. I’ve tried. Which is why I’m ever-grateful that Sarah pointed us in the Community Garden direction.

As you can see from the first photo, each gardener here has his or her own style of cultivation. This was was as evident through the growing season as it was at its close. Cool season and short season crops can still be seen here, mainly the crucifers such as cabbage and sprouts, and amaranth family members such as spinach and chard. Some of the longer-term gardeners have maintained perennials such as artichokes, asparagus and, of course, herbs.

All the weeds with seeds were yanked out, along with the grass that thought this looked like a cozy place to nest. On went a couple of barrows of the compost the organizers scrounged. We left the thyme, and will keep our fingers crossed over winter for the borderline hardy Greek oregano (Oreganum vulgare hirtum) and tender, but who knows, Golden Sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Icterina’). Reorganizing the shed a bit to make the contents a little more accessible took care of a little volunteer time. There. All ready for next spring.


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