Shout it out to the universe, and it will come. If that is what you believe, good for you! For us at the garden – it started from a need. This past growing season was difficult and we often felt frustrated, defeated and sometimes just angry. Chickens coming into our garden and pecking at anything and everything green and tender. How dare they? We discussed every possibility from bringing our dogs, to talking to our neighbor (where the chickens were coming from), and just short of toting a rifle. We did come to a consensus after hearing from the neighbor that the chickens are not his, hmmmm? We set traps and found a home for the dozen of chickens we have caught so far. But they are still coming in and destroying any new vegetation and getting smarter by the day. It’s been weeks since we caught one. If only we had somewhere to get our seedlings started early so we can get a jump on the growing season and would be protected from the horrible… chickens! And maybe if we could get lots of seedlings started we can share them with neighboring community gardens. From this, grew the idea for the need of a greenhouse.
So we have a need. We were all in agreement, so there was the desire. So how about the funds? And just like that – one of our members spotted an ad that PNM was giving out grants. If you know anything about grant writing this is far from a done-deal, it’s very competitive and time consuming. So the PNM grant writing Committee was born, and together we shared our knowledge, beliefs and ideas. Two committee members volunteered to do the writing as long as they received all the information they needed to complete the task. Often grant applications and proposals have a deadline, strict guidelines and often word counts so you really have to be able to say what you want and how much you need within a certain amount of words. And just like that, one of the members was reading the local paper and saw Valencia Community Gardens listed as one of the two in Valencia county to receive the grant—Belen, our sister community garden was the other. How awesome is that?
We as a community agreed on where to place the greenhouse. We then asked for volunteers to form a greenhouse committee. Some of us cleared the area to prepare the site. The committee has met and created a timeline and discussed where to begin… this past Saturday folks were there digging the trench to set the frames in order to build the footings for the structure. It was decided that the greenhouse needed a little bit more stability than the kit suggests because of the harsh wind and climates of the area.