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    Albany’s first community garden opens with laughters

    Community gardenĀ opens

    Jennifer Carlson (right) joked that she would get back the communal life she missed in the 60s at the opening event of Ocean View Community Garden Saturday, arousing laughters among the families at the event. Photo by Linda (Linjun) Fan.

    There were waves of laughters, story sharing and a strong sense of community at the opening event of Ocean View Community Garden, Albany’s first community garden.

    Although a lottery was drawn to assign the 12 available plots to 17 applicants, even those who lost the lottery were happy — because they were invited by the others to share the plots.

    Eight families from the Dartmouth neighborhood were assigned seven plots by the lottery, but they decided to share just three plots, and gave the other four ones to those who didn’t win the lottery.

    “I am also going to send an email to all families in my neighborhood, to invite them to join us in gardening the plots, ” said Ulan McKnight, a resident of the neighborhood.

    Another resident Devan Reiff said he has had enjoyable experiences in community gardens in neighboring cities, and would like to inspire more people to form the gardening community in Albany.

    “I like gardening with other people, ” Reiff said.

    Several residents who live in apartments were very glad that they finally get a place to grow their favorite plants.

    Jackie Hermes-Fletcher used to grow plants with her students at school, but she has to give up gardening after she retired and moved into an apartment in Albany.

    “I just have a couple of pots at my apartment, ” Fletcher said.

    She is thinking about growing watermelon and sunflowers in her plot at the community garden.

    “I can make fruit salad with the watermelon, ” she said.

    Jennifer Carlson, who live on Jackson Street near the garden, said she is not ambitious with her plot.

    “I would be happy if I can harvest one tomato, or one ear of corn from the plot, ” Carlson said.

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