If you ever sit still and get that drifting ethereal feeling that life is a miracle, organic gardening is likely braided in your DNA. Today’s organic gardeners sit on the shoulders of giants: from the aboriginal traditions of medicine, food & spirit to our contemporary research that traces nutrients from healthy soil to healthy plants to healthy people.
All food used to be organic. Great civilizations and landscapes flourished without industrial fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, leaf blowers or plastics. Nutrients naturally gathered in crevices, below bird perches, under forest canopies, in the grassland migrations, where flood waters settled, or where fallen logs rotted. To grow organically is to mimic these natural occurrences, expand diversity, and orchestrate the confluence of nutrients, water and energy that epitomizes a healthy garden.
With the grand opening behind us and the irrigation in place at Chandler/Pass, it’s time for new plans. What comes next? This land has been largely neglected. It is devoid of nutrients and lacking in organic matter. Rather than lugging in bags of prepared soil, we are building the soil in place, drawing from the many valuable resources in our town. We are diverting horse manure from the rancho district to add Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus as well as many micronutrients. We are mulching with cardboard that would otherwise enter the waste stream under mulch from trees trimmed in our city to suppress weeds and add needed organic matter. We are supplementing with used coffee grounds from shops and neighbors to feed the earthworms and microbes that help create a vibrant, living soil. Compost created from Burbank yard waste will be used to further enrich and fill the beds. All these steps help to create nutrient-dense soil that will be darker, richer, with an enhanced ability to hold moisture. All it takes is a little poop and a bit of time.
The Burbank Community Garden is not just a physical space, it is also a cultural space for daring initiatives and growing a garden that draws from the abundance of resources in our city. All garden members and the community at large are invited to expand this dynamic exploration by listening, observing, teaching, writing, speaking, digging and making mistakes! Watch for upcoming events, initiate your own events, and join this network of community health and vitality.