For three years now, Belle and I have had our names in for a plot at the local community garden. Be under no illusion that this allotment garden is just another amateurish effort to grow vegetables and fruit within one mile from home. No, this is a superb effort to do it right so that it becomes a model of what can be done on a small scale in the name of food security and healthy living. Through the garden community, we have been introduced to the wonders of Swiss Chard, kale, various pollinators, figs, kiwi fruit, nasturtiums, vegetable marrow, and grapes, all grown on sight. On the grounds, a 125′ by 50′ plot in the middle of the local park, there is everything that resembles fecundity, fertility, and vitality. Growth is plentiful, the size and color of plant life varied and the aesthetics luxurious. Everything about this enterprise is well appointed, such as a system for watering, fencing, a work shed, drip irrigation, well-constructed garden boxes, effective signage, a very knowledgeable site manager, great tools for working the soil, and an ideal location for catching southern aspect. So what did we do the moment we learned that we had finally gained our very own patch? One, we immediately started to plan even though the spring growing season, six weeks behind, was well under way. Two, we decided to go and locate our box before sealing the deal with a very small payment and signing off on some documents. Three, we then planted a bunch of plants that somebody on the committee gave us to get going: tomatoes, oregano, snap dragons, sunflowers and marigolds. Since then, we have purchased packets of seed for two varieties of carrots, beets, radishes, small pumpkins, potatoes, mustard, and nasturtiums. Each day we visit our little garden to water and plant more ‘crops’, and sit out nearby for an afternoon read. We are not so naive as to assume our lives continue unchanged by this simple act of becoming gardeners like our first parents in Eden. No, our devotion to tilling the soil requires us to adhere to a set of rules that tell us, among other things, what we can and cannot eat outside our box, when we can water, and what can be used to protect the fruits from the starlings and crows. Some strawberries and grapes belong to the community and can be nibbled, not scarfed, so that all can theoretically enjoy the fruit. Furthermore, we will likely be spending less time camping if the weather turns really warm. Oh, yes, we have to lock up and be vigilant for those who would want to raid the garden. Some lowlife stole a Japanese Maple the other day which set off a great deal of concern among the members.The main virtue that invariably comes from belonging to an informal community of green thumbs is that you only have to ask for advice, and you will get very practical help. After all, it is the soil we are working with. Each evening, after an hour in our allotment, I have the delightful job of removing the dirt from under my¬†cuticles.