Rounding up Volunteers

>> Friday, September 4, 2009

Still trying to hang on to the California state of mind. When I returned to the garden after being gone for a week, well let me just say it was not a pretty sight. But, I approached the "jungle" with my new attitude about the abundant "volunteers" (see previous post) that arrived while I was gone. As I worked small areas, I assessed which of the plants were edible and which were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was such an abundance, that I started a second compost pile specifically for the buckets full of unwanted weeds. I do admit that some of the purslane found its way into a salad or two. But, for the life of me I cannot find a good thought about the nut sedge that seems to have multiplied faster than a rabbit. After days of solitary work rounding up these "volunteers" , I realized that 'volunteer" plants are a lot like "volunteer" people. It is better to work with them than against them. They both have positive contributions to offer the garden if the systems are in place to maximize their potential. So, my new task is to establish a drop-in "volunteer" (people) program that will assist me with the "volunteer" plant problem. One section of the tool shed will be equipped with hand tools, gloves, and kneeling pads. There will be a clipboard with photos of the "uninvited volunteers" which will find their way to the compost pile, and photos of the "invited volunteers" for use in cooking, herbal sachets, or flower arrangements for the teachers. If anyone has suggestions on how to make volunteering in a garden both successful and enjoyable, please let me hear from you. This is a huge step for me...I am more comfortable doing things on my own, instead of asking for help.

But, I am realizing that the garden is not only a place for sharing beauty, but a place for sharing the honor and pleasure of tilling and tending.



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