There’s an alleyway the runs several blocks long in our neighborhood halfway between our street and the main street one block over. Max and I like to walk this alley on our way home from the nearby diner. It’s a place of much interest – assignations take place there, there’s an airstream trailer, creepy spidery garages, the backs of houses with tiny bathroom windows winking down at passers by, and this beehive located in someone’s shed. The beehive is inside and this is the entrance. When you pass by in the hot sunshine the bees are swarming around but if you pass by when it’s grown darker and cooler it’s very quiet.
The first time I saw this I was so riveted I just stood as bees flew around me and I thought “if I just stay very still they won’t be bothered” and immediately felt a sharp sting in my shoulder. They don’t feel comfortable with me standing there like the village idiot watching them slack-jawed.
a) I love that right here in the city someone has found such a creative way to keep bees
b) Someone keeping bees so close to my own house means that when I plant an edible garden here I’m going to have good pollination
c) I love that Max pointed out the incorrect use of the apostrophe
Figs in the hood. This tree hangs over someone’s fence into the alleyway. They weren’t ripe when I took this picture and the last time I walked by they were gone – I’m glad someone is eating them! I hate seeing food drop to the ground to be wasted. I love dried mission figs but am not a fan of fresh figs. My mom loves figs fresh so I would have nabbed a couple for her.
I’ve got my eye on the neighborhood walnut trees. Usually they start dropping walnuts with the first storm of the season or early November, whichever comes first. However, I’m starting to notice walnut debris under the trees and am hoping I don’t miss out this year on walnut foraging. My friend Chelsea knows of a place I might be able to forage a bunch of them so if I don’t get much from the neighborhood – hopefully this place will pan out.
The neighbors across the street have an enormous persimmon tree covered in fruit just beginning to blush up orange. We’ve been put on the neighborhood email list and have been invited to the neighborhood potluck next weekend. This is the kind of thing I really missed while living in Oregon. Maybe some neighborhoods have potlucks in McMinnville where everyone is invited – even the crotchety ones – but I sure never lived in such a neighborhood and I didn’t know anyone else getting invited to neighborhood-wide BBQs. I saw a neighborhood email this morning in which the neighbors with the persimmon tree said they couldn’t make it to the pot luck but was wondering if anyone was interested in doing a neighborhood garden coop in which neighbors can share crops.
My first thought was: I’ll never grow enough in my little garden to have enough to share.
But then I thought: sharing even small amounts of food with people creates a lot of good will and the good will of neighbors is exactly what you want when shit goes down.
Reciprocity is one of the most effective tools to bind people together in a community.
As canning and preserving is winding down I’m starting to turn my thoughts to starting a garden here (herbs, fruit, and edibles). Even if we didn’t build any beds or re-arrange any of the existing plantings there are a bunch of bare spots out front where it’s sunny that can be filled in with edibles. But we do have a plan to do some small raised beds.
I can’t live anywhere without planting herbs and edibles and flowers. It’s what I do.
What’s growing wild in your neighborhood that you’ve got your eye on?