Monthly Archives: octobre 2012


From the start, we had envisioned a triangle with a quiet center to read or contemplate the garden. After having pilfered pallets from the construction site, there was a midday workshop to create the perfect bench to plop down on to chelax.

Here is the result.

Morning mist

This morning the light filtered around the architecture school onto the dewy grass just as if this garden had always been there. Funny how easily one can create or destroy beauty.

Downright green

So the grass has outlined the triangle and the rain/sun intervals keep it coming. We’ll soon be needing a lawnmover which we don’t have.

We did find an old wheelbarrow without a wheel (a barrow?) and I started searching for a wheel on the web. I now know way more than I ever wanted to about how wheels attach to barrows, axles  and ‘coussinets’, the technical term of the thingamajig that holds a turning axle. And wow, do a lot of people have spare wheelbarrow wheels just sitting around as possible commodities. It amazes me how many people have the time to spend taking a picture and putting an ad to sell an old wheelbarrow wheel for €2 on the web. Fortunately for me they did and I found one somewhere here

View Larger Map

It’s coming in the mail and we’ll see if it fits in a few days. The coussinets have already arrived and will work if it’s the right kind of axle (which my newly expert opinion says it is.) I realized after I started the process that I could probably get a cheap new wheelbarrow for the same price. But that means the other one goes into the junk heap, a thoroughly depressing thought. Where do old wheelbarrows go when they die?



Rock united

This afternoon made place for meetings,
And the garden called the spot.

« We are what we eat » students gathered by the sword of Stacey,
To meet with plants,
While old garden folks arrived then,
To drift another recently-father to them.

These latter old garden folks came to worship the garden as usually.
One dropped a banana skin to feed the soil with potassium.
Two carried on their friendship with the grass.
And I still came to root out more rocks.

Sun, work, sweat, promiscuity, environment, will,
And people understand each other without a sound.

And kindly so, building workers used their wheelbarrow with compassion,
Dressed with their usual outfit after I came with my usual one to get rocks out of their working field.
The field…
For us all.

That’s what a day is in the garden and in the heart of W. Guthrie.
« This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California, to the New York Island,
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me. »
(This land is your land, Woody Guthrie)


Bonjour jardiniers et cultivateurs,

Je ne me souviens plus si l’oseille est arrivé à nos terres,
Et je vous parle bien de la plante,
Mais Stacey souhaite désespérément raviver l’unique plant d’oseille qu’elle possède.

Parce que l’esprit de fraternité doit faire vivre nos liens pour cette terre,
Comme nos abeilles pollisinatrices et productrices de miel,
Je vous adresse cette fiche de découverte de l’oseille,
Afin de pouvoir soutenir ce dernier et Stacey… !

Mais aussi de se donner en ces temps de pluies,
L’appétit de cultiver, de cuisiner, et de découvrir,
Tout en nous permettant de se cultiver, d’essaimer, et de se retrouver.

Puissiez-vous avoir l’eau à la bouche.


Art not agriculture

« A piece of cake » was how Jucai described turning over the soil and planting radishes, batavia, arugula and parsley yesterday.  Since he grew up on a farm in China working large plots, he thinks our tiny spot of earth is more art than agriculture. Probably true, I mean nature doesn’t really do triangles. But ours is beginning to show its angles in all their green glory.


When Life Gives You Stones

What we definitely have an abundance of is stones, so we’ve decided to make use of them. Steps, a stone garden, rocky walls, any excuse to pile them decoratively out of the way.

And we have a worm issue. After 10 days of digging, we’ve only found one. The others annoyed by the bulldozers have dug too deep to do any good. We’ve negociated the bar’s coffee grounds and are coming up with compostable material to create our own.

And yes, we really need a nearby space to store our tools and a wheelbarrow…


Grass and Flowers

Finally a bit of rain and the grass has sprouted. We absolutely needed something green for motivation, so we added some lavander, rosemary, thyme, lemon balm, rudbeckia and Japanese anemone. It is starting to look a bit like there might be a plan here.

Lancelot and the mysterious seeds

The garden’s first baby was born last night and we’ll soon be planting leeks in Lancelot’s honour. Not that he’ll be eating them in the spring, but perhaps he’ll come by and visit them, ripping them out by himself.

But today, Jucai planted lots of mysterious seeds from China. We could somewhat guess what they were to be from the pictures on the labels, even though they were airbrushed perfect veg, so it was hard to imagine such shiny items coming out of our plot. Jucai seemed to know what they all were, though he wasn’t actually confident they would all sprout in our fall soil. I, for one, am very interested to see what a really big green radish tastes like in case they do.

Juliette came by and made more little plant labels out of fruit crates and Thomas our latest convert to the cause found some mud boots his size and did some measurements and put some back work into turning over the second smaller triangle soil.


Engrais vert

Trying to get in a crop before winter is no easy task. For the moment, we have no water and the normally rainy fall weather has not yet replaced this lovely Indian summer. The new soil is packed down and needs to be completely turned over and our tools are far away from the plot hidden in plain sight. Not to mention that classes are starting, babies are being born and our budget is rather tight.

Despite all that, our plot is being filled in in baby steps, today’s being: garlic, rhubarb, white mustard, buckwheat and rye as green manures (an organic way to add nutrients and hummus to the soil).

We truly need a composter to get going (as well as a source for compost) as the school’s cafeteria apparently has no fresh fruit or vegetable peelings. I’ve been getting to know the soil for the last week and have not come upon one single worm. Not good.