The Sonoran Desert in August may not be as inviting as it is during other times of year, but this summer, 12 DC Ranch denizens, including 17-year resident Leslie Gilchrist, are knee-deep in growing fruits, herbs and vegetables such as cantaloupe, watermelon, basil, peppers and pumpkins — all part of the DC Ranch Community Garden.
“Some of our members are totally new to gardening and some are master gardeners,” Leslie says. “Although if they came from a different climate, they often have to learn all over again.”
But the lessons and experiments are what it’s all about.
“It’s like this giant science experiment,” she says.
The day we speak, Leslie is experimenting with jicama, tea hibiscus and other items she’s never planted. Now in its second year, the garden’s organizers are learning, too. A little more than a year ago, DC Ranch launched the community initiative located at Copper Ridge School, leasing 44 semicircular gardening plots, each measuring...