When I signed a 2 year lease on a large untended lot to start the Riverside Community Garden I knew I was going to have my hands full and people have frequently asked why I am taking so long to do some of the projects I have begun.  While the center of the property is now a cleared-out and lush garden, the outer rim of the property along the borders still needs a lot of work.  What they don’t understand is that amongst the poison ivy and brush there are beautiful Althea bushes that  I am not willing to part with and there is a delicate balance involved in the process.

I’m also slowly prepping the outer border of the property for perhaps one of the biggest guerilla gardening feats I have ever personally undertaken and I have to do so methodically and carefully now so as to save myself a ton of time next Spring.

Allow me to explain.

The cantaloupes in the photo above came out of my garden just yesterday.  I ate the other half last night since I needed to cut into it to take such a rockstar photo.  Ah, the sacrifices.

The seeds in the photo above came out of the half of that cantaloupe that I ate.  These are only the seeds that have been cleaned and checked for viability by first rinsing away any debris and then swirling them in a bowl or glass of water.  The seeds that float aren’t viable and can be discarded into your compost (they won’t grow).

As I clear new sections of the border on my community garden property I am also amending that long-neglected soil with grass clippings and chopped leaves.  When I start prepping the garden for Spring planting I will be tilling along this same border and guerilla planting massive amounts of cantaloupes, sunflowers, cucumbers, watermelons and tomatoes.

I am doing this as a quiet way to pay forward my love of gardening by growing something on a large scale that I can then encourage my neighborhood to pick, take home and share with their families.  Of course there will be massive amounts of surplus which will be taken to shut-ins in our local community and the remainder will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  Because of the relatively late start to our gardening efforts we have been unable to give on the scale that I know is possible and in our second year I plan to more than make up for lost time.

How do you give back with your garden?  Paying it Forward is one way to truly garden like a rockstar.