Sunday, December 2, 2012

Last Visit to the Community Garden

Before Floyd Bennett Field was completely closed to the public as a park and morphed into its current temporary role as an operations base for FEMA, the national guard and other large-scale responses to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy to the surrounding area, a visit to the community garden revealed the beauty of this season, a single miniature rose still about to bloom as leaves and seed heads browned. In this season there is already the promise of the future. Seeds fall as new buds ride out the winter on the tips of branches waiting for spring and what remains of one season bleeds into the next.

I have been lucky with gardening. Bicycle rides through the Rockaways led to an application at the community garden in Floyd Bennett Field. I learned the simple pleasure of growing vegetables alongside others which led to pursuing horticulture alongside others at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I have fed off not just my own discoveries but off a shared enthusiams with others. As much as I love wandering solo at Floyd Bennett Field or stopping by the side of the road to check out a bloom or a bug, a flower, weed, or seedhead, in my mind there is always the desire to have someone there to share the small delights of the moments with. For me there has always been community wrapped up in gardening. There is communion not just with the earth but a connection shared with others. And as at my community garden where I walk in the footsteps of others, the ones who were her before me in the decades-long history of this garden in this old airfield, I also plant seeds for plants that have been changed over time through the centuries of man walking the earth and cultivating it.

For me no garlic for next year. The park is closed and I didn't get the chance to plant any. In the grand scheme of things, this is not so important. But just as future garlic lies in the bulbs planted this season, the choices of the day map out the future. The future of the place where I garden, natural gas facilities in the form of a large metering and regulating facility proposed for this park, is being decided right now and I don't care for the direction that's being chosen.

"the idea of a garden--as a place, both real and metaphorical, where nature and culture can be wedded in a way that can benefit both--may be as useful to us today as the idea of wilderness has been in the past."     Michael Pollan, Second Nature A Gardeners Education

More posts on Rockaway Pipeline through Gateway National Recreation Area, HR2606 and the metering and regulating station in the park at Floyd Bennett Field here


Jen said...

This is such a poignant post, wistful and lovely.

It gave me the feel of a book I recently read and loved, The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. I blogged about it here:

Amelia said...

I second Jen, very beautiful post and so true. My gardening wouldn't be as enjoyable if my gardening friends and I didn't share our cuttings and divisions. It defines the word community.

Sweetgum Thursday said...

Jen I wracked my head for books with "star" in the title to recommend but came up with squat. Where that expression comes from, i do not know. Thanks Amelia. When I first joined my community garden I thought how cool is this? All these people just giving me plants and seeds and tomatoes. Jackpot. It is though a jackpot thing though only lots of folks get to share in the loot. :)