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My heart dropped at the sight of a deep-red leaf blowing across my yard. Squirrels are gathering nuts with a winter-is-coming vigor. Nowhere, however, is the change more evident than in my garden. A …
My heart dropped at the sight of a deep-red leaf blowing across my yard. Squirrels are gathering nuts with a winter-is-coming vigor. Nowhere, however, is the change more evident than in my garden. A few things are still coming up, but each week, I say goodbye to a plant that had been thriving just a few days before. It’s bittersweet.
I love everything about my garden, including the fact that it’s not mine.
My tomatoes, peas, lettuce, kale, peppers, cantaloupe, basil and why-did-I-plant-it-I-don’t-have-a-cat catnip come from my two plots at the Tusten Heritage Community Garden (THCG), an edible landscape project designed to create a public green space centered on education and community engagement.
Representing a group of interesting, garden-minded people (generous with beginners such as myself) it is indeed a community. My friends, Leigh, Jim and Doug, and I split watering responsibilities. Supplies are shared. Tools are kept for everyone’s use. Very often there’s another person puttering in their plot, so there’s conversation, and gardening tips abound. The garden is an official monarch way station recorded with Monarch Watch; butterflies explore and gently remind me when it’s time to weed.
Lately bees have been congregating in the wildflowers, donated by Tannis Kowalchuk from the THCG Advisory Committee. Perhaps some of them are grabbing squatters’ rights before the Honeybee Festival. The honeybees themselves are taking pollen back to Juliet Hermant’s nearby rooftop hives.
Even the creation of the property embraces the word community. Juliette has designed and planted the pollinator garden and monarch nursery with the support of Narrowsburg Beautification group since 2014.
From the garden’s Facebook page:
“Since 2012, the garden has received funding from Sullivan Renaissance, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, private donations and volunteer community efforts. Intended as a healthy, productive and sustainable community space, it is inspired by the indigenous heritage and early settlement days of the Upper Delaware Valley region. It offers local residents and business owners the opportunity to grow their own food, herbs and flowers, and serves as an outdoor public meeting forum.
“One focus of the garden project is reclaiming historic agricultural and culinary traditions through classes and workshops on topics including seed saving and sharing, sustainable gardening, permaculture, herbal medicine and pollinator species. The next workshop will be ‘Walk the Farm, with John Gorzynski on October 6 at 4 p.m. in Cochecton, NY. We are fortunate to have a wealth of master gardeners, farming experts and experienced naturalists willing to share their knowledge with the community.
“The 22 raised beds were designed by founder Andrea Reynosa. She referenced the ‘I Ching,’ an ancient Chinese divination text, and used elemental symbols as a template for the beds. They are arranged as Earth, Water and Heaven, from right to left looking from the library.
“The passive water collection system was designed by architect Buck Moorhead. Rainwater is collected in a series of five containers located on the upper bank between the library and the garden. Gravity provides water pressure to water the beds with a hose and/or dripping irrigation system.
“The deer- and groundhog-proof fence was designed by THCG co-chair Anie Stanley of Woolheater Wares. It is made of oak post and rough-cut hemlock sourced locally and donated by Hoffer Mill.
“The entrance signage is part of our 2015 landscaping efforts with [the] Narrowsburg Beautification Group @nbgtusten.”
The Tusten Heritage Community Garden is 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. To join Tusten Heritage Community Garden, please contact the garden coordinator/secretary and co-chair, Juliette Hermant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up soon so you have something to get you through winter.