Last year, a group of residents that live near and around Calkins Park in New London got together and started their own community garden. After much hard work and planning, they had 32 3x6 foot raised beds. Coincidentally, after moving to my new apartment this past fall, I found myself with no outdoor area that receives enough sunlight to grow vegetables, so I did a quick google search and found out who to contact about becoming part of this garden.
This year, they expanded with 30 more brand new beds. The founders of the garden have worked incredibly hard to get it where it is today - they got grants to cover the installation of water lines out to the garden, as well as a beautiful new fence to protect it from incoming soccer balls from the neighboring fields - and I feel so fortunate to be able to be a part of it.
This is what some of the other gardeners are growing - peas, lettuces, and squash, just to name a few!
I mentioned it to my sister a few days later and she signed up for a plot too! So our plots are right next to each other and we decided to plant all of our veggies together. It's nice because we can teach Nadya, my seven-year-old niece about growing things and what being self-sustaining really means.
We planted summer squash and zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, green beans, peas, lettuce, onions, carrots, and radishes. We planted seeds at first, but the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants didn't grow very well and we ended up getting seedlings from a local nursery. Here is our garden at the end of May:
Now, it's mid June and the plants are getting BIG. The squash and zucchini plants are a bit out of control.... we actually had to pull some of them though, because they were taking over. We planted them from seed and weren't sure if they were really going to take... but did they ever! Now, I am attempting to train them to grow vertically instead of horizontally.
Here is what our garden looks like today:
Eggplant (check out that flower ready to bloom!):
Tomatoes (3 kinds, including cherry, san marzano, and beefsteak!)
Peppers (bell, cubanelle, and hot peppers):
Our jungle of squash and zucchini:
Carrots (radishes were planted with them, but have already been picked as they only take about 5-6 weeks to grow):