Have you ever thought about what it is like living in a commune? What really goes on might surprise you.
I live in a commune. This is my story.
Just joking, I don’t really. I live in a small apartment building in the suburbs with some awesome friends who just so happen to like to garden. We joke that we all live in a commune because we all like to garden and regularly hang out together.
What it is like Apartment Gardening
We are super fortunate to have a landlord who doesn’t like to mow and is okay with the idea of us turning the lawn space into a garden. The year before we had a small 10’x10′ area approved for a garden and tried to grow some veggies mid-summer. It didn’t work too well with our poor clay soil and starting our plants in July. So, this year, we got approved to turn the entire front yard of our building into a garden! How awesome is that! We also tried container gardening and but we did not get enough sunlight on our patios.
We have about a dozen 4’x4′ raised beds on the hill in front of our apartment building. We are looking at taking a permaculture approach to our garden. This means that we will be planting high maintenance plants near the building entrance and low maintenance plants further away. We are also going to be doing companion planting to naturally repel insects and improve plant health without having to apply too many pesticides and fertilizers. We even have some compost going for the garden.
Turning the front lawn into a garden will have a positive impact on our local community and environment. Visually, it will be an interesting site for those doing their daily commute. Grass is boring and our lawn will be full of color! It also provides us with an opportunity to talk with people about growing their own produce and even converting their own laws into a garden. Since we are taking a permaculture approach, we will have a lot of flowers and diversity for pollinators and local wildlife. Grass does not promote diversity but a garden will. We will also have a bee and butterfly garden in the back that has been dominated by bush honeysuckle since we moved in. Simply changing the lawn to a garden is going to make a big difference in more ways than one.
Living in A Plant-Loving Community
What I love about the group of friends we live with is that we are 1. all friends, 2. plant lovers, and 3. have a sense of community. We hang out, we garden, we walk our dogs together, we go out drinking together, but we all live our own lives. My husband and I have moved around a lot and we never knew most of our neighbors. Here, we are friends with all of them. Since we all love plants we are actively trying to better our environment. Beyond the garden, we compost, eat a lot of veggies, try to go organic, recycle, and all around try to reduce our impact on our planet. I guess we are just a bunch of suburban hippies.
Finding a community of people who share the same interest and passion for whatever you are interested in is important. For us, it was gardening and the environment. We found our community in the building we live in. For you, it may be through your own neighbors, gardening clubs, or community gardens. Find where you belong and embrace it, even if it might be seen as out of the norm for society. It certainly was for us.
We don’t share an income and we all have our own apartments, but I guess you could say we are a commune. 😉