Who Are Your Garden Buddies?

Garden Buddies PicHappy hump day, everyone! We are halfway to the weekend when we can spend more time harvesting, canning, and playing in our gardens. (Well…if you don’t live in the Scorch, anyway.) Yesterday, while thinking about what I would share with you today, something hit me at work in a way that it never had before. If you were to ask me who my garden buddies were (besides my Garden Wilson, of course), I’d first say you, my readers, as well as online connections I have with other bloggers, and maybe some Facebook friends. Sometimes, I also talk with my neighbor across the street about her garden; but our schedules don’t seem to allow us to see each other as often as I’d like. However, I never thought my best garden buddies would be my coworkers.

When I first started this journey of digging in the dirt and planting, I asked for a lot of advice from a coworker who has a family farm on a couple of acres. Even though he is not an organic farmer like I am, we’ve still established quite a rapport, discussing planting schedules, rainfall amounts, soil drainage, various methods of insect control, harvests, food preservation techniques, etc. Sometimes, I even share with him cell-phone pictures of a particularly large veggie or a new plant I’m growing. The thing is, I never thought much about it.

Yesterday, another coworker came into my cubicle to ask me a gardening question. He grew up on a farm in China and grows vegetables in his home garden. We, too, have developed a relationship around gardening, and I’ve learned a lot about his methods of organic farming. Yesterday, he asked me about how to treat attacks of pickle worms, something that is a problem here in the southeastern United States. That conversation led to one on apple trees (and my bemoaning of the loss of my entire – albeit tiny – crop), which led to a discussion on dwarf trees vs large trees. And so the conversation went.

Shortly afterwards, it dawned on me that in my office, I have a microcosm of what we have here on this blog (as well as on others) – a community of gardeners and farmers, gathering together to discuss all things green and growing. I never thought about it that way before, even after all this time. The nicest part about it is that we’re connecting over our common passion in person. Not that I am placing my cyber garden buddies in a second place position; but in this high tech world we live in, isn’t it nice to connect with someone face to face?

Sometimes, I long for “the good old days” of friendly chats on the front porch, strolls through a neighbor’s garden to get his latest advice, or having tea while discussing a new canning recipe. I’m sure that must still happen in the more rural townships of our country, but those of us who live in the suburbs or the cities have a more difficult time finding fellow gardeners who are close by. We have to get a little more creative – like I did, discussing my garden at work and finding out who there also has a green thumb.

So, who are your garden buddies? Outside of blogs and social media, who do you connect with and discuss all things gardening? If you have a city or suburban garden, what do you do to connect with other gardeners and farmers? For those of you who live in a rural community, what advice do you have to share with us urban farmers to increase our sense of community with others of like passion?

Please share your comments, thoughts, and advice below. Maybe “the good old days” are just a garden plot away.

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