I am now glad that I made the full task list. Three groups of volunteers arrived on Saturday morning: a dozen or more students from DePaul; at least eight more volunteers from the Second City Dream Team Meetup group; and a number from the large group of people who return to the garden after attending as a member of another group. (I am an alum of the latter group: after first visiting the garden with Chicago Cares in the fall of 2007, I returned the following weekend on my own and never stopped. )
At the end of the workday, we had accomplished all but two of the tasks on our list.
The DePaul students fanned across the garden, wreaking construction and order, leaving promise in their wake. They tied twine trellises for the sweet peas in beds 4 through 6.
They built a brick walkway leading to our rain barrels. And after all of that hard work, they presented the garden with a thank you card.
After repairing the western end of bed 22, the Second City volunteers dug a trench down the middle of the bed and planted sprouted red potato seeds. The DePaul students came along later and planted seed for a border of allysum flowers that we hope will live up to their reputation as potato companion plants.
Everyone wrapped the newly seeded beds with chicken-wire fencing. We planted so many rows that we ran out of plastic plant labels—a first. We wound up cutting up a couple of seed pots to make labels for some of our rows.
After only a single day of focused work, the garden was transformed from a collection of muddy beds to an array of fenced future homes of vegetables for the pantry. We are well positioned for the growing season.