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The unusual winter and almost nonexistent spring have made for an unusual start to the 2018 planting season. Linwood Place gardeners didn’t really have time to start a lot of seeds with all of the cold but there are plenty that has gone right into the ground.

Somehow the asparagus knows when it is time to pop and it has provided early gardeners with many pounds of delicious, and healthy bounty of tender spears as the reward for being in the garden when all there was was work and promise. The rhubarb, thyme, sage, several varieties of mint, chives, sorrel, lemon balm, oregano, chamomile, horseradish, wormwood, and Comfrey are all brilliantly abundant.

The garlic planted by Liuba and her Granny waves in the breeze as the cloves planted early this spring do their best to catch up. A few onions harbored from last year have split and make a tasty offering for early summer harvest.

The fruit trees had few blossoms this year but we look forward to more apples and an abundance of berries and currants for tasty fruity snacks as they mature.
The beds are in pretty bad shape but the soil remains rich and friable. So loose and light one can stick a hand in and scoop up a handful. So, the planting goes on. All manner of garden vegetables have gone in the ground and it looks like the first Community Gardeners Jacquelyn Jusino, Jon Hysell, Mr. Pavese, Thomas Zavalidrogn, Chet Bottorff, Liuba Abramciuc and this writer have put in many hours thus far.

Jon comes from Clinton with seedlings, Jackie brings diligence in weeding and sowing, Mr. Pavese brings his annual offering of robust cousa and winter squash seedlings to go into mounds. Thomas is a planter and tender of tools. Jacquelyn has organized a group of women in recovery gardeners who have begun to trickle in to work the garden to find the tranquility and feeling of accomplishment only working in the earth can provide. Mr. Beavers, from one of the retirement homes, has become a regular in getting his hands dirty. We have a few Asian family gardeners who have taken private plots but for the most part, everyone is all in working for the good of the community in the Linwood Place Garden.

As For The Good awaits the decision of the DEC on a major Economic Justice funding proposal for this year, repair and replacement of the beds are on hold. It ain’t pretty right now but, once the crops start coming in all eyes will be on the carrot tops, beet greens, cabbage, collards, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, squash leaves, basil, peppers of several varieties, kale, spinach, lettuce, turnips and the many other organic vegetables that await our friends and neighbors in this food desert.

The Jay St. Garden is a bit behind due to lack of funding. It will come online as Linwood Place is completed and this crew of dedicated, experienced and able-bodied volunteers will turn their attention to the East Utica site. Should the DEC funds be awarded soon, staff will be hired and more extensive and focused work will be made possible.

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