Green (sometimes) Thumb-Year Two-Update
The true story of our ‘farming’ efforts this year is much different from last year. And so it should be, for hopefully we learned something from last year. We got our dibs in early to have our plot turned over, we built raised beds with the now very easy to manage soil (thanks to a very large input of mushroom compost), we added a drip irrigation system and we know to cover the plants in their early development to help protect them from various enemies.
We started many plants indoors ourselves this year. Another experience. While my little plants all came up, they didn’t seem to grow much after a while. I think I should have put them in bigger pots before their final journey to the farm. When you start plants indoors and are preparing them for their journey into the big wide world, it’s advised that you “harden them off”. This means setting them outside for short stints, lengthening the time until they have been out all day and all night. My plants looked like 90 lb weaklings on the beach-trying to make their way in a sea of muscle men. I decided on an additional step in ‘hardening off’. That was speaking sternly to those plants, telling them to smarten up and get growing or they’d be compost. So far, it seems to have worked to a certain degree-a few plants didn’t make the grade but the rest are looking like 120 pound weaklings on the beach. They are gaining ground.
We still have bugs-potato bugs and cucumber beetles and some cut worms but so far we are keeping the pests at bay. This year we do have earthworms-lots of earthworms. Last we didn’t amend the soil but this year we invested and it’s worth it. Although instead of the carrots for $3/bag you can buy at the grocery store, our carrots will likely cost us $15/bag. But that is not the point. We love it and it’s still cheaper than therapy.
We talk gardening talk now. We say “Of course, the amendments have improved the tilth of the soil. We think the micro herd is very happy as a result.”
We are optimistic about this year. Aren’t all gardeners, all farmers optimistic every year?
Fashion in the Garden
When you are engaged in everyday office work you spend time on choosing clothes, matching colours, doing your make up and hair and making your way to your desk job. When you are engaged in gardening the clothes choose you, the colours are not a consideration, the make up stays in the drawer and your hair is under a sun hat. I looked at myself in the garden today and thought there was hardly a colour that wasn’t represented. The photo doesn’t show the bright orange blouse that was part of the layered look. And the thing is, it is highly likely I will do a bit of shopping on the way home and not think a thing about it.