The fourth in my series on community gardens will be more of a pictorial than verbal. The reason being no one in this garden speaks English. These folks are all Korean. They have the seeds, plants and most importantly the knowledge they have brought from their native land. I have made many attempts to find someone to translate for me with no success. I stop and visit this garden several time a season we communicate with a wave and a smile. I guess gardening is a universal language.
This community garden is located in Wayne, Michigan about 15 miles west of Detroit. It is part of a Korean Senior Citizen apartment complex. In my many visits to this garden I don’t think I’ve seen anyone younger than 70 years old in this garden, yet these are some of the most immaculate that I have ever seen, not a weed in site. I estimate the garden is about 2 acres in size are divided in plots that are about 20X10 feet in size. Each resident has his or her own plot/
Not a weed in Site
These gardeners are very ingenious; they are able to garden about 10 months of the year by using homemade hoop houses and cold frames. Every inch of space is utilized...
Every inch of space is utilized
They have dammed up a ditch that carried rain water from the parking lot and created a rice paddy which is very productive. Many of their crops are greens of one type or another along with a variety of hot peppers. One thing that I found very interesting, I didn’t see on tomato plant in these gardens.
Rice and other bog plants Fallow ground is covered until the next planting
The path ways are covered with discarded carpeting in order to deter weeds; areas that are not planted are cover with plastic until the next crop is planted.
Old carpeting covers the walkways Melons anyone?
Pass the pepper please
Every time the weeds start to get away from me in my garden I tend to think how how these Korean folks tend to their gardens and just pull a little faster.
Photos by author.
About Paul Rodman
Paul Rodman has been gardening for over 45 years. He is an Advanced Master Gardener, and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian. He is President Emertius of the Western Wayne County Master Gardener Association in Wayne County, Michigan. He currently serves as the greenhouse chairman of this group. Rodman has amassed over 5500 volunteer hours in the Master Gardener program.
Rodman is the garden columnist for The News Herald newspaper, in Southgate, Michigan. He has also written for the Organic Gardening.com web site.
He is a certified Master Canner and has taught classes on Home Food Preserving for 7 years.
He has lectured on various gardening topics throughout southeastern Michigan.
His favorite pastime is teaching children about gardening. For the past several years he has conducted classes for second grade students teaching them about subjects ranging from vermi-composting to propagation.