Oh, 2020. You frightening beauty. A difficult year in so many counts and ways. Despite Covid lockdowns and pandemics, the garden managed to have its “grand reopening” with a full membership. The garden construction works completed a massive renovation of the garden in early February 2020. This was fortuitous since once Covid lockdown struck in late March we had tied the major loose ends on the project up and members who lived within 2km of the garden could still plant and tend their veg.
The committee established a Covid plan early on in March/April where we determined the best way to comply with both government and scientific community guidance. We devised an online slotting system where members were required to sign up for an hour-long slot. We used Google Sheets for this purpose and it worked very well over the range of members. During the most severe times in lockdown, each slot was restricted to just one member (and if they desired their family) so that no community or close contact transmissions could occur.
Common touchpoints such as gate latches were pointed out to the membership. Hand sanitization upon using such common touchpoints was called for. All members were required to wear PPE, bring their own tools if possible, and to bring sanitizers. Throughout the varying levels of Covid restrictions we experienced through the pandemic, the sign-in sheet has been kept and with great support from the members. The garden paid off as a place to get some peace as well as exercise during this very stressful and sedentary period.
For some of our members, the garden was out of reach the entire Spring until restrictions loosened in June. Members of the garden who could help planted some crops and weeded those beds that laid abandoned by Covid. By mid-summer, all of the beds had been planted and tended by their rightful member caretakers and we ultimately had a really get the first year at the garden.
We have more projects we intend to tackle. This year we hope to improve drainage in a couple of soggy spots, add rain catchment to our new mini-water tower, perhaps add some stepping stones, add more wildflowers to the periphery, and build a few more beds. Down the line, we anticipate replacing the garden shed with something standing in height with a small covered picnic table area. We’ll see what the members want and what is possible. See you next season!