Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pending change & Plots clean-up

I have been in a blue funk since receiving the mail on Monday. I received a letter from Farmland Preservation, the county department in charge of the Community Gardens. Subject: "THE CEDARBROOK GARDEN PLOTS - MOVING TO A NEW LOCATION!". What????

It seems that someone in the county has made a decision to move the gardens. For what reason?? They are not sure. But, it seems that the county wants to use that land for something else. The gardens have been there for quite some time (20 years + or -). They used to be in another location until the county sold that land Dorney Park.

Needless to say, I was very upset. I sent an e-mail to the woman who is responsible for the gardens on Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning I received a response and talked to her on the phone. Her department had no idea that the county had planned to move the gardens and at that point had no details on the dates. Typical goverment!!

Yesterday, I finally went over there to get things cleaned up from Irene. While I was there I talked to some gardeners who have been there since the beginning and went through the last move. Rumor has it, that it will be some time until the gardens are moved.....maybe as late as fall of 2012 or spring of 2013. Who knows at this point!!!

That being's what the plots look like after several hours of tidying up and weed wacking.

The bean tepee is standing once again. I put it upright, added some supports and tied it to the fence. None of the plants were uprooted.

I put a metal stake in the ground and tied the corn and beans to it in the "Three Sisters" planting in Bed #2. The leaning posts and trellis for the Sweet Dumpling squash was removed and so were the plants. I did find one more squash.
I left the leaning tomato plants alone in Tomato Alley. The plants are almost dead and why bother to try to make them upright at this point. I harvested some ripe tomatoes and a handful of green ones that were on the ground. The plants will most likely be removed, if I have the time over the long holiday weekend.

Asparagus beds look great!

The corn & beans in other "Three Sisters" planting were staked  and tied up too. There are a few small white pumpkins on the vines in this bed. We shall see how big they get before the vines die off. As you can see, powdery mildew is setting in

The hot & spice peppers and celery in this bed are thriving. The eggplants are doing OK too!

Burr Gherkin cucumbers still growing like crazy!

The bell peppers did really well. I only found two broken branches and only had to harvest two green peppers. The one plant is nearly 4' high at this point! Hopefully we will have enough warmer weather to allow the peppers to turn in color.

That's about it for now. I will post any news about the pending garden move as soon as I receive it.


  1. I know your disgusted with that news, I would be too!
    Getting the land in shape to plant is one thing and just to have it taken away like that is another. Maybe they will change their minds..Or I see you moving to a farm.
    Then Chickens and Ducks on the bright side..:o) Smile this may be your blessing.

  2. Ginny, If I had any idea the economy was going to go the way it has, I would have sold my properties when Thomas sold his house before we got married. Then we would have been set-up on a nice small farm. It's just not possible for us now.

    With regard to the gardens, there are a lot of elderly gardeners there, people who live in the inner city and take the bus or ride a bike to the gardens. How will this people be able to tear up their plots and move???

  3. I'm so sorry to hear that news. I hope they relocate near to you. There is one potential plus in this. It could take the garden bugs and diseases a couple of seasons to find the new plots after you're up and running.

  4. Now I feel bad for trying to be light hearted. It's very sad to hear about the people you described to Ginny.

  5. I've already told you what I think about it :-( Oh well, asparagus roots can be dug and relocated, as can berry canes and plants, but it's a lot of work.

  6. Jody, I feel bad for those people. We will be able to manage the move when ever it happens. I guess everyone will have to help out with those who don't have the means or the strength to pull up and move fencing etc. The gardens are pretty to close to us now and the distance will be the same. It's about 3 miles and I could actually ride my bike to the gardens or take the bus if I had to.

  7. Granny, Yes it is going to be a lot of work! I just called that reporter about an hour ago. She was very surprised. Our county just released their new budget for's interesting to say the least. Our county is in the green with excess for a while now. They are supposed to be aloting more monies to Farmland Preservation and giving us a big tax break of about $30. per homeowner!

  8. I wonder if there is anything that can be done at all????? Petitions, media involvement, anything? My gosh, how they expect people to just up and move like that. You've put a lot of work in.....and think of those who have been there forever. So sad. I sure wish you the best of luck. There has to be SOMETHING..........

  9. Jezz, I thought my luck had gone a bit shitty.

    Oh well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You'll have right good muscles after shifting that lot.

  10. Sue, We shall see how things progress. I'm not one to keep my mouth shut!

    IG, That's goverment for you! I think that my muscles are in good enough shape!

  11. Well that is sure disheartening news, but as you said, who knows what and when it will happen. I will be hoping for the best for your and your fellow gardeners!

  12. Oh no that is some really bad news. At least the damage from Irene wasn't too bad. I hope the government changes their minds...they sure are good at doing that!

  13. Well one truth of life is nothing lasts forever. And it seems the changes are never for the better. So sorry to hear about the plots. Well let's look at the bright side, maybe the other deal will fall through and they don't move them. Or even if they do maybe it will be to even more fertile soil :) we can hope.

  14. Robin, how disheartening! I'm so sick of government and what so few people can decide and oftentimes behind closed doors. The voters here passed a bill THREE time, the same one, but they kept rewording it; finally the county said, "We're just not going to do it!" I'm happy to hear they haven't heard the last of you.

  15. That's terrible - don't they realise that you can't just move a garden.

    Anyone who has been there any length of time will have spent ages and money improving soil etc.

    What about permanent planting such as fruit bushes?

  16. Oh no! That is so sad! I am sure there are many folks with well established perenials and that just breaks my heart. Not to mention all the work on the soil etc.

    So sorry Robin! All we can do then is pray that the next place is even better and bigger for you! Maybe with a grand stroke of luck the transition can take place over the course of a few seasons to allow work to begin while crops are still in the current location! That would help a ton!!! Big hugs to you!

  17. BLD, Thanks, we all know how speedy and efficient goverment can be!

    Mrs.P, It will be interesting to see if and when the move will take place.

    Jane, The soil in that location is supposed to be pretty good. I haven't gone down there to look at it yet. As Jody mentioned, a positive side should be bugs and disease may not be as prevalent for a couple of years.

    Diana, This decision was definitely made behind closed doors without the department in charge knowing a thing! No, they haven't heard the last or first from me yet!

    Sue, I brought up all of the things that you mentioned in my e-mail and also on the phone. She thanked me and told me she used my e-mail in a meeting regarding the situation earlier. She was also interested in knowing how much money we had invested in our plots this year. Hopefully, things will turn out OK.

    APGal, Keeping praying girl....we can use all of the positive energy we can get on this!

  18. Goodness, that is terrible! It is incredibly saddening to think about some paper-pushers deciding that an extremely fertile, beautiful, and bountiful area could be better used for some unknown development.

    Embrace the 'community' in community garden and organize and fight that willy-nilly decision!

    On the bright side, your plot looks fantastic! I am glad that the storm did not do too much damage.

  19. That is SAD news indeed. All that good soil gone. Talk about an investment!

  20. That's right, Robin. Don't give up. You have all worked too hard and too long to give up without a fight.

    Great job on the clean up.

  21. Sorry to hear about this! After all the work it takes to build up the soil and work you have done on those beds... well, I hope that whatever "plans" they have don't work out and the city doesn't have the budget to do a thing with your plots!

  22. Typical slap in the face from the beurocrats for those who have been responsible custodians of the land for 20+ years. Does your local elected representative have an opinion on this issue? Ask the questions but, for the sake of yourself, try not to get too worked up.

  23. Praire Cat, They are supposed to put a new ambulance building in the field by the plots. It is my understanding that they don't need the space where the gardens are for the building though. Maybe they don't want to LOOK at some REAl FOOD GROWING.

    Tami, There are a lot of people who have invested a lot of time and money into their gardens. Hopefully, the plans will change. Time will tell.

    Thanks Lorie, we will do what we can!

    Erin, Unfortunately our county has plenty of money! They spent a great deal of money this year on our garden and another one to get them cleaned up! I'll keep everyone posted!

  24. Mal, it sure is! I think that it was an elected official who made this decision. I was very depressed when I first got the news. I won't get myself all worked up though. There are a great bunch of gardeners over there and we will all work together....what ever the final decision is!

  25. Your garden it looking so good that it is hard to believe it just went through the abuse of a storm.

    Sorry to hear about talk of moving the community garden. Hopefully if you and your fellow gardeners are heard and maybe they will reconsider.

    I noticed that the dead foliage on my diseased tomatoes was blown away by Irene's winds. LOL! There are still a few tomatoes ripening on these, but they too will probably be put out of their misery this weekend.

  26. Rachel, I was very surprised that anything was standing at the plots after the storm! It is so windy there to begin with!

    I don't think that we will have much to say about the pending move. Farmland Preservation is doing their best! We shall see what happens.

  27. Your garden hardly looks as if a tropical storm passed through it. I am impressed with how well it weathered the event.

    Sad news about the plots being moved. You have an incredible amount of work into that space and I hope much of the perennials and the hardscaping can be salvaged and moved to the new location. I am an optimist though and would hope you end up with an even nicer plot to work with in the future. Sometimes change is hard - but not always is it bad in the end.

  28. Laura, The plots weathered the storm much much better then I thought they would. Do you believe that celery? I was going to pull after you were there but left it go. It is looking very good. I bet it will be stronger then the earlier celery though.

    I will be able to salvage and move all of the hardscaping. It's going to be a lot of work! The larger blackberries will have to stay. But, I am planning to move some smaller blackberries that are growing there. I just hope that I can leave them in the ground there until early next spring. It will be a pain to have to overwinter a bunch of stuff in buckets at home.

  29. I'm sorry to hear about the garden relocation. Hopefully everyone realized that the local government wasn't going to provide the apparently land-banked parcel forever when they started their individual plots there.

    I may be wrong but it seems to me that if a local government allows a parcel to be used for something like a community garden that it's a temporary use (even if it was for 20 years!) until the intended use comes to fruition. I wish you the best in the relocation!

  30. Perdita, The gardens are actually located in a county park which also has many ball fields and picnic facilities. That is the intended use for the land, not buildings for the county and a local ambulance building.


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