A beautiful day in the community garden

Yesterday was opening day at East York Community Garden. When this picture was taken, the crowds had gone home for a well-deserved rest after many hours of digging, de-sodding, tidying and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing.

In my Compost Queen role, I worked with volunteer Yves to construct a mountain of overturned sod – stacked roots upward – removed from the new plots at the far side of the garden. We’ll damp it down, cover it with tarp to heat it up and, eventually, return it to the gardens as compost. My back tells me that it was a lot of sod. A lot.

Education will be a big part of the garden this year, especially on composting, to make it easier for our gardeners – many of them new to gardening – to know the hows and whys. A community garden of this scale can produce a lot of good compost, which we aim to use.

Meanwhile, and even though it was his birthday, Mr. TG was busy building the cedar frames above for our plots. And, Mr. TG being Mr. TG, you’d better believe they were plumb, level and square.

We’ll be marking these off at one-foot intervals to guide our own modified square-foot gardening strategy for 2010 – an intensive gardening technique in which you plant in one-foot squares rather than rows. The plots are 4’x8′, making it easy to reach in from either side for planting, weeding and harvesting, without having to compress the earth by walking on the garden.

(Rubs hands together.) I can hardly wait.


  1. Hello there girl ! How is the weather in Toronto ? LOL
    I am a fan of the one foot square method .. it makes so much sense to plant that way .. yes it is intense but from all that I have seen with information on it it is awesome ! Keep rubbing those hands together it is COLD and windy here in Kingston : (

  2. As a resident of Tarp Land, I am glad to know that tarps are making themselves useful in Toronto;) My back is still grumbling at me for last weeks' garden adventures. Today I'll tell myself "bend with your legs, not with your back" and see if that helps.

    Christine in Alaska

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