Let it grow; let it grow; let it grow. The weather outside's delightful!

May 28th, 2014, 8pm

It was 7°C. The wind was light.

I nearly finished planted my garden on the roof. After years of having my own land to plant, I live in an apartment near the heart of town. Truly a beautiful spot situated on a sand bar between Lake Superior and Superior Bay. I can watch the giant lake freighters navigate the bay from my living room window. However there is no spot for a vegetable garden. So, the Community Garden program works. I garden atop the county garage in Downtown Duluth. My main summer vegetables come from a membership in a food farm. I and many others provide the cash and they do the faming, delivering fresh organic vegetable once a week.

I nearly finished planting up on the roof. Soil is medicinal. Dig in it. Plant in it. Sport it on the knees of your jeans. Grind it under your fingernails. Wear couple inadvertent dirt smudges on your face in a local business to cure you of self-importance and pomposity like wearing ashes on your forehead at the beginning of Lent. Soil will feed you.

Years ago the roof was a parking lot, but time aged just enough strength out of the concrete so the archetect banned cars from the roof. A creative planner convinced a skeptical county board to replace the parking with a green roof on the garage. (Amazing how some Green-Grant money to help off set the costs will convince.) I’m told the vote for gardens brought smiles of satisfaction to a budget weary board the day they voted approval of the green roof.

The commissioners planted half the roof with sedum. Sedum, is a hardy, durable nearly indestructsble little flowering plant that can survive with little care under a hot summer sun and help keep the building beneath cool; unlike asphalt . On the other half the commissioners built raised beds filled with soil for gardening.

(Now, of course, you know the commissioners didn’t actual get on their knees to plant nor smash their thumbs with hammers nailing the boards. Boards, of course, hire others to cut and hammer boards into something productive.)

The sedum flowers attract hoards of friendly insects; the wooden gardening beds which comprise the other piece of roof, attract people. About a dozen people have plots and garden on the roof. We gardener pass on tips, praise each other’s work and water the plot next too us if wilting.

I began rooftop gardening a few years back when I still worked across the street in City Hall. It was my salad garden. A few days each week during the summer into Autumn, before the frost, I would gather the makings of a salad. Five minutes from garden to belly. On nice days I would eat at a little table on the roof thoughtfully provided in the planning.

I planted a variety of salad greens a week ago. Today the garden rewarded me. I watered the planting and when the soil turn black with water, the little green leaves glowed. Lunch is on the way. Today I transplanted tomatoes (Our growing season is far too short to plant tomato seed directly in the ground.) I planted beans (wax and green) and between the rows of beans, radishes which will be grown and eaten before the beans overwhelm their space.

I forgot Spinach seed so that will go in tomorrow.

In northeastern Minnesota you only get June, July, August, part of September to farm. So let it grow. Let it Grow; LET IT GROW!!

David Wade and Shu said thanks.

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Ken Jackson

An avid outdoors man. Retired and retiring, living on the shore of Lake Superior

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