A Co-Op Garden Grows in Lexington-Hamline

November 2018
The first snows have fallen. The ground has frozen solid.
Just in time, we recently completed a quick final cleanup of the garden, chopping up thick kale stalks and covering tender garlic cloves with leaves, nestled in for the winter to hibernate, holding energy and promise for next spring.

Our neighborhood jewel, the Lexington-Hamline Cooperative Garden, is now five years in the making and we couldn’t be happier with its progress. The garden hovers around the 10-family mark;. Gardeners are expected to work a day a week at a minimum and the harvests are shared with whomever shows up to plant. In summer weeks, there is most always an excess of crops.
The cooperative garden has provided so much: community of neighbors coming together in and out of the garden, cooperation, kids’ growth and appreciation for where nourishment comes from, exploration, dirty hands on a peaceful warm spring morning, patience, a boy hiding behind a trellis of bursting snap peas as he munches them…
One recent memory I truly love is of chatting with fellow gardener Stephanie about a delightful tomato that we both enjoyed, but had never experienced before. We are diligent about mapping and labeling unusual varieties as we put them in the ground and as hoped, the map provided the answer: Brad’s Atomic Grape Tomato, planted May 19.
But the name of this beautiful zebra, a lovely robust green and red grape variety, wasn’t enough to fully satisfy our curiosity. Where did the seeds come from? Did we grow it from infancy or was it donated to us by Karen, gardener extraordinaire and owner of the property our Coop garden is on? Or perhaps we purchased it at the Farmers Market?
Going to the map and mulling it over a bit more jogged our memory: it had to be from the Como Community Seed Library’s Spring seed and plant exchange! Indeed it was and we are so thankful for the great work the Seed Library has done and the events it puts together, like the plant exchange last May.
And this fond memory, of the Seed Library, leaves us dreaming of longer evenings, warmer mornings, dew on young leaves, the glow of the sun on our arms, and the bursting flavor of ripe strawberries and tender snap peas!
Dave Tzeutschler, Co-Op Gardener.
Tomato Pie
Co-op Garden Harvest Potluck in August 2018

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