Sunday, June 21, 2009

Delicious pain in the garden

Oh I know, no pain is good..... except the muscle aches that come from planting, hoeing, tilling, transplanting, weeding  and dreaming.  The hours of bending, stooping, and crawling are so worth it.  The zuchs, cucumbers and beans are breaking through the clay soil and the vines will be coming soon.  The transplants are getting used to life in the wilds and flourishing.  I've got a chair out there and I watch or dream or just 'feel' the place.  The greenhouse is getting empty of the transplants. It will have some experiments through the summer.  I have samples of the tomato plants and I can see the difference between the tomatoes growing in open air and their twins growing in the greenhouse.  I have some broccoli that I will raise in the greenhouse bed [hopefully away from the moths and their baby worms that love my plants to pieces. 
  Today I worked all day out there. It was wonderful. I planted seven frames and got the fence up [with the vital help of my son-in-law].  I mowed weeds, pulled weeds and tilled a sod bed of weeds. Walking through it tonight I got a little smily--- it is starting to look like I thought it would look. This ark farm is a place of dreams. It really is. 
And tomorrow, my grandkids will build a salad, with the lettuces and herbs from the coldframes, and it will be a salad of foods they will happily eat.  Does it get better than that for a Grandpa?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gardening in the cold

The date is June 7 and I am wearing my winter coat.  Alright I asked for this.  I moved here because of the fresh air and the landscape, the quiet and the beautiful everchanging sky.  It is also cold a lot, and windy.  So I am building my character.  Last week I almost quit and gave the gardens to the weeds.   All week I was interrupted and emergencies jumped in, like the flat tire on the tractor and I didnt have a wrench to take it off. I was  changing my work goals again and again. We had frost two nights and I am  still holding the tomatoes and transplants in the greenhouse.  I broke the big job into little jobs and tried to do a little. So Friday I did the carrots. I love carrots.  Saturday early I put in the squash, pumpkins and cukes.  It only took a couple of hours--big seeds.  And now I will hold. Late this week I will plant the next series of peas, beans, lettuce, etc.  Then I will have a succeeding harvest.  Cold or not the tomatoes and herbs will go out too. As an experiment I will keep some samples in the greenhouse to see how they do there. So the garden is officially planted, even though unofficially there are a lot of empty spots and full seed packages.  I am fencing the garden before the rabbits have too much lettuce and I am making a row of cold frame boxes that I can plant in all summer/fall.  I guess I am ok now.  With the cold it is raining. It rained yesterday and will again tonight.  No dust now and that feels good.
Some of the funny stuff is working out so well.    After winter feeding my big bag of sunflower seeds got wet and I just broadcast them along the fence line.  Well, thousands of little sunflower seeds are starting out and really growing.  They are almost too thick, I'll move some with the shovel. Next winter the birds can get their own sunflower seeds.