With more than an acre of land, a half dozen families from Burundi and a well intentioned group of overly caffeinated volunteers, the community garden plots took bloom today. Actually, without irrigation this week, the rock hard caliche land left us little room to do any significant gardening. Yet we were able to take several truck loads of donated wood, blocks and brick to carefully deliniate the 18 garden plots. Each one is more than 8′ x 15′.

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We had more than 70 seed packets to distribute. I have a feeling this land will soon be full of sunflowers, okra and more melon than we know what to do with.

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A couple local coffee shops provided the first bit of grounds to help turn the land from a sea of Bermuda to something a bit more productive. We are going to need all of Phoenix to up their coffee drinking in the next few months. I thought I’d gathered quite a bit of grounds — not enough for even one plot.

Yet another exercise in learning patience.

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Graciously, Greg came forward to give more than a dozen tools to the community shed. Plus, any excuse I can get to visit the Urban Farm merits the drive. I wandered through his yard of apple trees — heavy with misshapen pale green fruit — and rows of early summer vegetables that look like a heavenly salad bar for any lucky rabbit.

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Trying to make sure each plot is the same size and marked appropriately is a bit more of a challenge than I realized. Come to find out, spacial planning is not my forte. Thankfully, the roommate has a much keener eye. He put us to work and soon enough the earth was lined with recycled materials. Soon the refugees scattered among the plots, selecting the site for their future garden bounty.

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(One might think pick axing the earth without gloves would hurt? One would be right. Then again, my prissy hands were holding the camera and remain splinter and blister-free.)

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It was a beautiful day in the garden and while it will be months until anything significant comes out of this communal space, we made progress today. I am so thankful for the handful of friends who helped and sincerely appreciate the miraculous generosity of those who’ve given seeds, time and money.

Small small catch monkey.