09 May 2012

Co-op, as in "cooperative."

I know that many people would cringe at the thought of sharing their yard with another family, but our friends, the Yorks, didn't flinch. Well, not that I saw at least! 

They mentioned doubling the size of their garden.
I mentioned helping tend the garden, or purchasing veggies from them.
They said, "let's have a co-op!"

Why not? We're starting small, with just 8 members. 50% of the members are under 6 years of age, but that's neither here nor there. They will most certainly eat their share!
The first thing that we did as a team was rake out the dead grass before spreading the compost. The Yorks managed to get an entire truck load of horse compost for free -- long story, but I'll tell it if you ask me to -- so we worked all morning shoveling poop across the already tilled expansion. There was no need to compost the existing half, as it was pretty nutrient rich from the previous year's composted garden. As a true testament to community, a neighbor offered his tiller for the day. He even went to pick it up somewhere else and dropped it in the backyard for us. Oh, and if that isn't enough neighborly love for you, we also borrowed a couple of shovels from some folks around the corner. All of these folks will surely be getting some vegetable gift bags from us this summer! 

While one family returned the rental truck (used to haul the compost), my husband tilled the compost in, and we went to work on the border weeds. I must say, there is great satisfaction in pulling weeds. I have more work to do, but at least we got most of one side completed. 

The north side weeded and ready for tilling.

Compost down, tilled again, ready for more fence.

There are people that are okay with sharing things with the community, building friendships, sweating a little for someone else, and feeding more than just their own family. We're learning what that feels like this year, and hopefully teaching our children that living in relationship with other people is better than isolating needs and blessings. It certainly didn't kill us, or even hurt us, to work someone else's land. It felt even less painful using borrowed tools and expensive equipment from neighbors. It made it a true community effort.

The only casualty of the day was a pair of faux leather riding boots that I've been wearing for three years. I felt it was time to dirty them up. Or in this case, horse manure them up. Darn, I guess I will need a new pair of boots this Fall! 

By the way, this is the very same friend of the juicing post last year. She's a giver!