Spring play by the pine tree

Spring play by the pine tree

Spring play by the pine tree

This post is part of The Beauty of the Point series.

The Lot: What Can Grow Here?

Last Saturday, at the Easter Egg Hunt in Mary Jane Lee Park, many residents expressed a desire to see a garden, or at least grass growing, on the empty lot at 38-40 Palmer street, directly across from the park.

Digging for Samples

Digging for Samples

 

In an effort to determine what can grow on this lot, quite literally, the Salem Public Space Project started to dig. The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, offers an affordable Soil Test to determine toxins, nutrients, and the growth potential of a lot.

So we dug some samples!

The sample digs

The sample digs

We also decided to test our own garden soil to see what we’re working with at home, and the difference between the garden and lot soil are striking in color and texture.

Soil Samples

Where does nature come in?

Twenty, twenty-five years ago, this piece of asphalt used to be a garden. It was a robust garden. It was so lush, with tall corn and an irrigation system. Back then, there was also more crime in the neighborhood. People would hide in the garden; “it was a weird maze inside.” The garden was removed and asphalt poured in its place, where no one could hide behind something someone grew. Some weeds now grow through the cracks. And, in the summer, some clinging plants embroider chain-link fences in green filigree.

All quotations from an interview in Mary Jane Lee Park with Point residents. September 17, 2012