Thursday, July 16, 2009

Haricot Vert and Sharing the Harvest

Soon, very soon, we will be harvesting green beans from our little garden plots at the Cordata Community Gardens. A long, thin French bean, haricot vert, was planted in B3, and blue lake beans planted in B2. Each variety are compact bush-types since the garden rules at Cordata forbid absolutely anything - plants or supports - being over four feet tall in any gardener's raised bed. Both types of beans are loaded with blooms and have lots of small, not quite ready to pick sized beans throughout their compact vines.
I planted organic blue lake pole beans in my garden at Happy Valley about a month after the beans at the Cordata garden were planted and they are growing fast. Already with their third sets of leaves, soon they should be vining up their support trellis, blooming and, hopefully, providing us more fresh garden beans once those at the Cordata garden have finished bearing.
Today's garden pics.

Tonight at the Happy Valley Community Gardens there was a homeless guy setting up his little camp there for the night. The gardeners on the corner gave him part of a beer and a couple of bottles of water before they left, and the gal with the prayer flags flying over her garden told him her carrots were ready and he was welcome to as many as he liked. All of the gardeners had left before I was finished watering my space so he came over to let me know that he was just passing through Bellingham and was going to spend the night there at the gardens. He went on to say that if I was uncomfortable with him being there while I was alone that he could go up by the road and wait until I left. I suggested he be the garden guard while I finished watering. Then I asked if I could take his picture and his reply, "sure, I guess." Here he is, leaning on the outside of my garden fence.
Interestingly, while walking by the composting area at the Cordata gardens tonight, I couldn't help but notice that some gardener had added a bunch of perfectly fine, fresh and crisp spinach leaves, beet greens, Swiss chard and radishes to the top of the "green" compost heap.
Also interesting is this sign that we are greeted with every time we open and close the gate to the Cordata Community Gardens.
Having just witnessed such generousity by the gardeners at Happy Valley to that homeless man, I couldn't help but remember the Gardener's Use Agreement we all had to sign in order to garden at the Cordata Community Gardens.

"In the spirit of community, I will freely exchange varieties from my plot with my neighbors and contribute some of my plot's production to our garden basket for the less fortunate."

I've noticed perfectly good fresh produce tossed onto the top of the compost heap there before, and the Cordata gardens appears to me to be a very neat and tidy garden without any serious sign of being overrun by weeds. So, why are some of the Cordata gardeners throwing freshly harvested produce onto the compost heap rather than sharing it with those less fortunate? Perhaps it would be more appropriate for that entry gate sign to state something about not wasting good vegetables but to share them with those less fortunate. And just where is that garden basket?

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