11.12. My Vegetable Garden

By Shaun Giudici, December 2013.

Overview. This case study concerns a vegetable garden, specifically the one I maintained from my childhood until I moved away from home at age 22. Both my father and grandfather taught me a lot about gardening; in some sense I consider domain-specific knowledge to be a resource in the organizing system. However, in this case study I focus on more measurable resources and interactions of my vegetable garden. Gardens, especially those used to grow crops, undergo frequent change. After a brief overview of the seasonal cycle, I emphasize the organization of space and layout of plants in the garden.

A healthy garden requires maintenance year-round. Preparation begins in the fall by turning under the previous year's crops along with other yard trimmings and lime, to balance soil pH. In the early spring months we begin the germination process indoors, heating greenhouses in the cool New England climate. When warmer temperatures emerge, we begin to plant directly in the garden. A lot of organization goes into deciding how to lay out a garden for the season; here our adventure begins. A garden ready for planting is a beautiful thing. It is a blank slate, with the exception of some perennials, and the affordances seem unlimited. Oh, the organizing possibilities!

What is being organized? We are creating an intentional arrangement of different genus of plants into areas of the garden. Some plants are germinated from seed indoors and ...

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