Newbold Neighbors Association has done a great job starting a community garden this year, a couple blocks from my house. I'm just now greening my thumb, so I'm learning a lot along the way.
For instance, if you decide to shop for seedlings with three small children, the oldest being 6 years old, really pay attention to what you're buying. That way, you won't end up with 10 tomato plants and no peppers instead of the more well-rounded collection of tomatoes and red peppers you originally planned.
Similarly, if you decide to plant with three small children, pay closer attention to where they are digging and what they are putting in the ground. That way, you won't end up with a rogue tomato plant in the midst of your cucumber patch.
Less overt excitement accompanied the laying of the compost. I fished out some of my compost, put it in a bag and headed over to the garden with two of the older kids from my block, about 8 and 9 years old. I hadn't noticed how the compost smelled till we got to the garden. In the words of John, the 9 year old, it smelled like "dookie." And he was right.
I suspect I wasn't turning the compost enough, letting it aerate properly. It doesn't smell now and seems to be well-integrated into the soil. Nothing has died, so I think it's ok. I went home and added cardboard to my batch in the Envirocycle and have been turning it religiously. Hopefully this next round will be more earthy, less dookie-y.
My pics are from last week, but I was just there again today. The black eggplant have quadrupled in size and the Lavender Touch eggplant is finally showing its light purple blossoms. Plus I have some very funky curly cucumbers growing. The tomatoes have yet to turn red but they are nice in size. And with all those tomato plants, there will be much tomato salad at our vegetable party come late August.