The chives are coming up, and will have beautiful purple buds when they're ready to harvest. Snip some for your salad or soup or mashed potato dish. Anybody want sunflower seeds I got em, lots of them and a bunch of other seeds. I can't wait till I get some arugula going; I love it's sharp tangy wake-me-up taste. Speaking of wake-me-ups, mints are easy to grow and have been shown by scientific studies to perk your brain waves up - make you more alert and in a better mood. The smell of any flower can be aromatherapy; all you have to do is enjoy it.
Either hide where you plant or be willing to share your cantaloupe and watermelon - their sweet taste is mighty attractive to humans and other people. Stake and/or fence your tomatoes unless you're into feeding the wildlife and the soil dwellers. With global warming we might get a super-hot summer, so I'm getting interested in stuff like okra which loves the heat. I found out the hard way - mistakes repeated until my hard Irish head finally gets the message - that beans and peas don't like garlic, putting out some kind of signal that wards off legume competitors (No wonder I haven't been able to grow peas or beans well).
Be careful out there: garden injuries laid me up three times last year. Take your time and focus on enjoying your work rather than looking at it as if it's a chore.
I finished three new beds last fall before the cold really set in. Minnefield contributed both equipment and labor to move the mulch pile to the Flowers Avenue Garden, where it needs spread. Now that the mulch is gone from Everybody's (corner of W. Elizabeth and Lytle), there's room for a couple more beds, which need dug say two feet down and the rocks and bricks removed. Most of the older beds already have garlic and/or some perennial herbs growing in them, so their space is taken up right now. I will re-seed cilantro (coriander). I've more than I can give away of oregano; come get transplants from me. I want to increase the variety at Everybody's, so contributions are welcome. I gave away the comfrey last year, so I'll walk over to the Hazelwood Food Forest and get some more to transplant from there.
Not being a "garden expert" (only a soil expert), this Everybody's Garden I steward could use more well-rounded expertise. Don't be afraid to enjoy giving your own unique contribution to our gardens - whether it be labor or sharing plants or dropping off grass clippings or whatever. You can soak brown cardboard and paper bag in water and mold it in the bottom of a planter or planting area as a way to nourish the soil life as it rots down.
We really need a neighborhood garden education program, so that volunteering gardeners' work doesn't get destroyed. I'll plant "greens" (kale, collards, chard) and parsley this year, for instance, but I'm hesitant to plant brussels sprouts and broccoli because people around here harvest the leaves for cooking - not knowing to wait for these crops to bud. A similar problem with peppers: Lots of people like green peppers, but don't know they're more digestible and nutritious if allowed to ripen to become sweet RED peppers. And there is such a demand for them people pick them when they're small instead of waiting till they get bigger.
I decided I really like butternut squash and will plant more this year. It keeps well, cooks easily, and tastes great. But I'll be growing zucchini and crookneck squash too; I love the outlandish productivity of a healthy zucchini. I'm looking forward to radish, which pops up and is ready to eat (greens and root both) in less than a month. Radish and the onion family especially remind me of the old adage "Let food be for your medicine". Researchers are finding now that greens, especially uncooked greens, are especially important and need more emphasis in our lives. I found out you can eat daylily flowers, and they taste great! But try and leave some for the honeybees and to add to your garden's beauty. Rose of sharon gives lots of flowers, and they're edible but to me don't have much taste. A couple neighbor's with better noses than me told me the roses we got started at Everybody's smell wonderful, but I can hardly smell them. I have to find some room for fennel; most everybody likes the anise licorice taste. One more time this year I'll try cucumber, but I haven't had much luck with them. I always try to grow some really long long beans to brag about, with little success; this year I'll try again. I want to spread the asparagus this year, but it's such a temptation to eat it rather than let it spread for next year...The same problem with French sorrel, which one little girl named "lemon plant" for its taste. So many people like it it gets all eaten up and I have to go find more to start and try to spread the next year.
There are a growing number of (especially younger) aspiring gardeners who, not owning land, are taking commitment to Earth to a higher level by discretely planting and maintaining (on land they don't own) native, medicinal, culinary, and decorative plants in various places for all to enjoy and make use of. Property owners should welcome them, as they are raising the intrinsic and monetary value of the land.
The figs at Everybody's Garden will likely give little or no figs this year because, lacking help, I never got them covered and we've had a helluva winter. Fig trees wish they were in sunny southern Italy or somewhere warmer like that.
The Squirrel Hill Food Pantry intends to get a garden going just down from the Flowers Ave Garden this year, and will be needing volunteer and expert help, so maybe there'll be some days people needing a little fresh air and exercise will want to help. The nice thing about volunteering is there's no pressure; you say goodbye and go home when you want.