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*Cue tragic violin music.*

After waiting for a ridiculous number of years for a community garden plot, I've had to let my coveted spot go. In September, I killed my car in an accident on one of LA's famed congested freeways. I decided to walk my talk and not replace the car.

(Long winded posts about the car-free life choice in Los Angeles on my blog here:
http://consciouslyfrugal.blogspot.com/2010/09/car-free-in-los-angel...
here: http://consciouslyfrugal.blogspot.com/2010/10/backlash-to-life-with..., which has a pretty interesting discussion in the comments section;
and a guest post here: http://thesavedquarter.com/2011/02/living-car-free-in-smog-city)

Living car free has been fabulous, but not so much for my life as a gardener. In my desperation to have a hunk of earth in this sea of concrete, I accepted a plot that was roughly a 24 miles (round trip) from my home. I thought I would be able to access the plot via public transit or hitch a ride with my buddy who shares the plot with me. No such luck. The transit system would eat hours, which I don't have thanks to a daily 4-hour train commute tacked on to my work day, and my buddy is touring for her new book and will rarely be in town this year. So, we let our little corner of the earth go to someone who could actually access it.

As a country kid trapped in the city, I often find myself trying to recreate the life I knew for 28 years prior to moving to this strange urban mecca. It doesn't quite work. Squeezing life in around the edges of a 12-hour work/commute day is extremely difficult. I am plotting a plan for escape, no doubt, but it will take awhile to get there. And I gotta admit, losing the plot has crushed a small corner of my happiness.

Yes, I've added my name to a waiting list for a garden with extremely tiny plots that is closer to home and accessible on foot. I'm cultivating other ways to feed my sense of joy and connection to life (there just ain't much life in the ol' urban rat race, although I do love my daily interactions with folks on the train and the diversity of cultures found in all this concrete), but today? Today I want to harvest some black kale and get my hands dirty. Instead, I'll cook up the kale delivered by my CSA and do my best to practice the fine art of gratitude. But it might take a minute for the tragic violins and whining to quiet down.

Views: 14

Comment by Christa Nelson on February 28, 2011 at 1:15pm
have you looked into Zipcar, where you pay a yearly membership then just use their cars for a few hours when you need them? http://www.zipcar.com/la/  ........might be a way to still make it to the garden
Comment by Aliza Ess on February 28, 2011 at 6:48pm
Sprouts and sourdough are currently some of my favorite methods of "mini-farming" in the city!
Comment by ConsciouslyFrugal on March 6, 2011 at 11:21pm

Aliza-I'm taking a sourdough e-course at the moment and grabbed some spicy sprouts not too long ago that I need to tackle. I never quite thought of those as gardening. :) But so true! A friend also suggested mushrooms, because they don't require a lot of light. I'm gonna give it all a try!

 

Christa--I do rent cars on an occasion. Zipcar isn't available in my town (Long Beach), but it really isn't economically feasible to rent a car, Zip or otherwise, to get to le jardin as frequently as I'd need to. It'd be smarter just to buy a car. But since I'm trying to walk my talk in that arena, no can do. However! I'm feeling a little less whiny and crybaby now. :P

 

Thanks for the helpful comments! I've started doing some "wild fermenting" in addition to friends' suggestions, so I should be well over my crybaby fit soon.

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