This sign was different, however. It caught my eye because it was from Seattle City's "neighborhood" division, and furthermore, from the community gardens or "p-patch" subgroup. I had looked into joining a p-patch before but the wait for a plot was over two years long. I thought that if I had the opportunity to get involved in a new, hopefully waitlist-free p-patch and potentially earn a plot, this was it.
Fast forward a few weeks: I've sent the requisite e-mails, received the pertinent information, and signed up for the p-patch's website. Those involved dubbed it "Upgarden," for the fact that it's on the top (fourth) level of the parking structure. Plots are chosen in order based on volunteer hours, so on May 26th, Margo and I made our way to the Upgarden and eventually found ourselves being apprentices to Mark, the carpenter. We logged eight hours between the two of us and, with the addition of a few shorter days in the weeks following, logged ten hours in total. We landed in 46th place on the list of plot order, which was conducted June 16th. Our plot is approximately 100ft.² and the plot it sits next to is eventually going to be a sitting/picnic area, which gives me 360° access to my plot and a place to lean on my hoe and meditate over the garden (something I'm supposed to do, according to the author of a book I bought on gardening west of the Cascades).
During the week of June 18, I planted starter plants that I bought at Swanson's Nursery. According to memory, they are as follows:
Tomatoes (San Marzano, Berkeley Tie-Dye and cherry tomatoes whose name I can't recall)
Peppers (Anaheim, jalapeño, ancho)
My friend Andrew Cross (chef, Canon; Seattle, WA) loaned me seeds and along with a few other packets that I bought, I sowed:
Dragon's Tongue beans
Broccoli (hybrid blend: Belstar, Everest, Southern Comet, Express)
Cucumbers (Fountain Hybrid; slicing)
Swiss Chard (Bright Lights)
I'd like to find some heirloom garlic and plant that as well. I have yet to come across anything interesting.
It is truly an experimentation, as I have never undertaken, from start to finish, the cultivation of a garden on my own. Because of the mild winters on this side of the Cascade mountain range, one is able to garden nine months out of the year. I was worried about the late start (I'm used to the Mother's Day adage) but we'll see what I can get, as you've got to start somewhere.