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Natural Perspectives: Community helps out for garden

July 21, 2010|By Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray
  • The compost thermometer, available from Friends of Shipley Nature Center, reads nearly 120 degrees.
The compost thermometer, available from Friends of Shipley… (Independent )

Vic has been running summer birding workshops through Irvine Valley College and is preparing to leave on the big finale trip of the summer to the eastern Sierras. I'm going as an extra volunteer driver for one of the college vans on this four-day trip, but I have no time to think about that now.

I've been swamped with planning for the new Huntington Beach Community Garden. After our "making stone soup" column on that topic a couple of weeks ago, the garden group received a rush of new memberships. The spaces are now all reserved. The garden committee is hoping to open up a few more spots but must wait until Southern California Edison reviews the plot plans.

The most exciting thing to me is how our community has responded to the garden group's request for help. One man called Annette Parsons with an offer of free equipment use. He has a "ditch witch" that will dig trenches for the irrigation lines. Another man called, saying that he will try to get two ship-to-shore containers from the longshoreman workers' union in Long Beach. And several people bought bricks in the garden group's "Buy a Brick" fundraising campaign.

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The bricks will be used to make a pathway from the entrance at the end of Atlanta Avenue to the garden plots under the power lines. Memorial bricks will be laser-engraved, with a choice of several colors of brick. Two sizes are available, a 4-by-8-inch brick with three lines of text, and an 8-by-8-inch brick with six lines of text and room for a corporate logo. For more information, call Annette at (714) 317-5921 or visit the group's website at http://www.huntingtonbeachcommunitygarden.com to access an order form.

The garden group needs to raise a lot of money before anyone can plant a seed. It will take approximately $40,000 to install the garden infrastructure. In addition to sale of memorial bricks, the group is considering sale of a gardening calendar. I put together a mock-up of a 12-month calendar with garden-related quotations, a list of what vegetables can be planted in any given month and a close-up photo of flowers or vegetables for each month. I chose photos with strong patterns, something that would look good on a wall.

My favorite quotation for the calendar was an old Chinese proverb: "All gardeners know better than other gardeners." There must be as many ways to garden as there are people on Earth, and everyone thinks their way is best. The nice thing is that everyone is free to garden in his or her own way. Things grow, or they don't.

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