Caroline, my dear friend and gardening partner, and I are embarking on our second year of “farming”. The plot is the same 20 ft by 50 ft garden we rented from the city last gardening season.
During our first year, 2011, we decided not to invest too heavily in inputs (ah, the farming language is wonderful) in case we decided not to garden beyond year one. After last year, a year of mixed success, we decided to invest in more inputs or soil amendments as Caroline calls them. Late last fall that took the shape of 10 cubic yards of mushroom compost delivered by a dual axle dump truck that beeped when it backed up and then spewed out a great mass of steaming smelly compost onto our plot. I was speaking with Bonnie (from Bonnie’s Lavender Farm) about gardening this coming season. When I told her we’d purchased mushroom compost, she said “that’s just horse shit”. I thought at first she was dissing our investment but then realized she was calling a spade a spade or in this case, calling mushroom compost horse….well you get it.
No matter what we call the inputs, we are hoping it will turn our 2012 farming season into a smashing success. We feel very good about trying to grow our own food. We are hoping this year our bounty will increase and that the compost will make a world of difference.
Some things that would make us very happy this year:
- to have more than one resident, migrant earthworm in the whole plot
- to produce carrots that don’t look as if they were grown in a nuclear waste site
- to have fewer than 4, 427 potato bugs to squash throughout the season
- to really sit down, once in a while, in the lawn chairs we take out and store in the little shed
We do get teased about how you can buy 20 lb bags of carrots in the fall for $3.50 a bag. No matter, those are not our carrots, that were started by our hands and our attention to water and our monitoring and our great discussions about thinning the plants and on and on. In a way we may be living the old joke about the farmer who won a million dollars and was asked about his plans. “Oh, I dunno”, he said, “probably keep farming till it’s all gone”.
Do you have some gardening experience to send our way? All guidance and advice is most welcome.