Midsummer here in New Haven. Despite the heat, our Growing Entrepreneurs have been working hard to build a pergola – a spot for shade in the center of the Chapelseed community garden and a structure for grapevines to cling to. I’ve never seen a freestanding pergola before, so I’ve been learning right alongside the Growers.
The process has been full of all sorts of good luck – loamy earth, helpful fellow shoppers, and, most importantly, a team of dauntless Growing Entrepreneurs. We began last week when we dug four four-foot deep holes at the corners of a brick patio our friend Chris Ozyck built for the garden. Soon we were squatting down with posthole diggers, reaching down as far as we could and clamping down on dirt and pitching it up to make room for sonotubes and cement. (And thank goodness the dirt was soft, free of heavy stones and old brick!)
Then on to lumber. Rasha, Briana, the Home Depot Pro Loader, and I all struggled to fit fifteen pieces of sixteen-foot-long lumber into the bed of the pick-up truck the Land Trust has nicknamed Big Silver. A fellow shopper noticed, ran over, opened the truck’s back window and gently placed the wood through, stacking it and pushing it all the way up to the windshield. “Someone recently helped my family at the Home Depot when I couldn’t be there,” he told us, “so now I’m helping you.” He even offered to drive beside us on the highway because the wood was hanging off the back of the truck.
Safe and sound at the garden, the Growers have carefully been measuring and marking and cutting the wood. Today we’ll be back at it! We can’t wait to raise the structure in the middle of this great community garden – a community garden that will remain since the Land Trust recently purchased it from the City of New Haven. Stay tuned for more photos and a completed pergola.