R and I volunteered at the Community Garden this past weekend. We helped clean up and started "putting the garden to bed for winter." This largely involved ripping everything out of the raised beds and a lot of raking.
It was enjoyable. Working with your hands on a beautiful autumn morning is amazingly refreshing. But it was also hard, not the manual labor but because we had to rip up plants that were still alive. Mainly sunflowers. I LOVE me some sunflower, and I was all Oh NO! But it had to be done. Soon the frost will come and the plants will die anyway.
So, under the judgmental stares of many little birds, we tore up all the sunflowers and nasturtiums. We raked up the remaining vines, now mostly withered, and piled up the remaining carrots.
Oh, and I smuggled a lot of sunflower blossoms home with me. They are sitting in a ceramic cup on the rattan truck to my right at this very moment. I also gave one to a four year old girl next door. She smiled and thanked me, and then proceeded to rip off all the petals. Oh well. I guess we each appreciate beauty in our own way.
Anyway, it was really nice to connect with some people from the community. I'm thrilled that we are finally in a place we plan on staying long term. Volunteer efforts at our previous location were sparse. Partly because we were leaving and I didn't want people to come to rely on me (cause I'm obviously irreplaceable and they would weep at my departure) and partly because ehh. It just didn't seem as meaningful when all my hopes and dreams revolved around leaving said community.
We may or may not be volunteering this weekend. Either way, I have plans to do so next spring. These people don't know it yet, but they will be teaching me how to keep plants alive. Poor people.