The community garden is the one place where I can’t be bothered. Where there’s no urgent email or telephone call waiting, where the day’s problems seem distant. I crouch down, yank weeds, rub out tomato suckers, pull spent plants. It’s where I get my solitude in this busy city.

Walking home today I thought about the community aspect of the community garden. How a neighbor had recently suggested that I snack on his ripe strawberries while I gardened, and how I happily indulge. How other gardeners fixed my broken retaining wall after a getaway van landed in my plot, and how, while they worked, I planted rows of chard and beets for the food bank. I guess I didn’t think much about the garden as community until today, when a fellow pea patcher stopped by when I was watering the peppers. She didn’t say much, just set down a bundle of purple sweet peas from her patch, smiled, then went down the path and out of the garden.

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