Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Thursday, April 27, 2006

We Spend A Day in April Tearing Apart Tomato Trellis, Proving, Once Again, That things Are, Indeed, Cyclical

I am precluded, even, from referring to said structure as last year's tomato trellis, for it still stood, proud and tall, in the fields during this year. So, is there a this year and a last year, or are we all flowing through some sort of cyclical continuum. These things and more does one ponder as one pulls down tomato trellis six months too late.
I, of course, have an excuse that will stop dead in its tracks even a hint of personal blame. Yep. I have broken bones inside of me.
Today was also spent adding some deer protection to the strawberries, planted last September, which, of course, nececitated trampling o'er some of the spinach, planted last October, with a break to admire the garlic, planted, also, last October. All to be harvested in May, April and June, respectively. Again I find myself unable to demarcate between this year and last. Even long periods of snow, or a solstice, seem inadaquate devisions.
It's all one long merry-go-round ride, is the only conclusion I am able to draw, with regular opportunities to grasp the brass ring and occasional stops for cotton candy. The fields are in a constant swirl, with brassicas in the upper field now and the lower field later. Nightshades are here until they are there. Squash is everywhere, but never in the same spot twice. It rains. It dries out. It gets hot. It gets cold. We drive posts to hold tomato trellis, only to pull them back out again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Merrily, We Roll Along

It's April, so everything must be wet.
Indeed, everything is.
It came fast and furious last Wednesday, with the appropriate thunder and lightning and reports of tornados ripping trailors to shreds in states West of here. It kept coming until there where rivulets flowing down the edges of the fields and making ruts in the road. It kept coming until the fields were like quicksand and sucked your foot in up to the ankle. It kept coming until the branch was ten times the size it was a few days before, and was slamming impatiently into its bank and threatened cave-in. Then it stopped, and then it started again.
Must be April.
Well, the greenhouse is spotless, that's all I can say. We've had plenty of time to start seeds and pot on plants and rearrange trays and sweep out from under the tables and polish the doorknobs. The shade cloth over the lettuce mix hoophouse is pulled taught and all its little tears are mended. The chicken wire that runs its length is patched, and the landscape fabric is ironed.
The pond is full.
The chickens are wet.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Went For A Walk Through The Past, And Ended Up In The Future

I crossed the creek yesterday and started to walk up the mountain. A friend with a bum elbow went with me. Between the two of us, we could maybe play the piano. Anyway, we started up the road behind his place, and talked about wildflowers and clouds and the meaning of life and stuff like that. We passed by a few old homesites, and decided to check the ground for morel mushrooms. It was the perfect time of year, but a bit too dry, and we found nothing. No matter. We had fun looking. One of the interesting parts of following old logging roads through the forest is stumbling across old homesites. You know you're getting close when you see apple trees. Look about, and you'll usually see rocks laid out in something close to a square - an old house foundation. There may even still be a chimney, or part of one. Kick around in the leaves and under the moss, and you'll find a few old pieces of metal, and maybe a whiskey jug.
We came across one old homestead and then another. Some were perched precariously on the side of the mountain, almost hanging off a cliff, but someone used to live there. Such is one of the ironies of the modern day mountains. The land that used to be considered prime real estate - the bottoms and the fields in the valleys, where you coulkd grow something and earn a living, isn't worth much these days. The mountain tops and the cliffs, where you couldn't grow anything and you needed mules with one set of legs shorter than the other, the places where the poorest people lived, that's in high demand these days.
As evidenced during our walk. We kept walking up the road, past the old home sites, as the road got steeper and steeper. When we got to the top, it wasn't there. Someone had bulldozed it all away, piled all the trees into nice little burn piles, and made a road around the summit. We didn't know what they were up to. and haven't yet found anyone who does, but the clearing was wide and long and smelled like a sub-division.
We weren't quite sure where we were going with this walk, not when we first wet out, but we found out soon enough. We were going to the future of these mountains, and it was covered in hydro-seeded rye. They'd sent the streams through plastic culverts, and circled the mountaintop with a road, and they were ready to build houses.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Farm's Beginning To Look A Little Like My Shoulder

Someday, we're going to look back on all of this and laugh.
We're plugging away, getting stuff into the ground and potting on plants. It was supposed to rain this weekend, but that's not looking likely. I'll have to do something about some irrigation in the next day or two. Markets will be opening soon, and we've got to get the stands together and get some shelves in the backs of the vehicles. And I'm already starting to think about firewood. Our saving grace has been the steady crunch of gravel as cars come up the road - folks stopping by to lend a hand.
All's a little bruised and battered around the edges, and sometimes bleeds from the center, but the prognosis is for a healthy recovery. By mid-summer, I predict the fields will be verdant and lush and the greenhouses will be shipshape. We'll have limited mobility until then, and one side will be sore, but we'll keep, as I say, plugging away.
I think not, sitting here this morning, of all that is not yet done, and all that will not be done, and all that will forever remain a mess, but rather of the dogwood blooming in front of the chicken coop, and the poplars making their slow annaul ascent up the mountain behind H*'s place. I think not of the dozens of leggy starts in the greenhouse or the parched cabbage in the field, but of that particular shade of green that is seen only in April, when the sun comes up over the mountains east of here and shines sideways on the new growing grass.
I don't know what to make of this. I'm either well adjusted, or, so much in the dark I've no hope of ever seeing reality. Whatever it is, I'll never figure it out, so I may as well keep on planting.

Like a loaf of organic, artisan bread, He is risen.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Worst Part Is, I Can't Wear Overalls

We proceed slowly, but proceed we do.
Half the Spring planted is out - that is, planted, thanks to friends, neighbors and various others who showed up last Friday for a planting bleitzkreig. The other half rmains in the greenhouse, but is being moved out into the fields slowly, ever so slowly. The question, of course: which half is bigger?
We tread water as far as greenhouse stuff goes. No sooner do a few dozen trays get started than a few dozen more need to be potted on, meanwhile a few dozen others need to get moved out to the fields. I'm getting more and more mobility in my left arm every day, and can take care of mild greenhouse duties now. As long as I don't have to lift anything, I can do it.
We are, as far as I know, somewhere near the middle of April, and it seems like a good time to reconoitter. Are we where we should be in respect to the middle of April? Are we behind? Are we further behind than we should be? These questions are meaningless to me. We're where we are. And where we are must be right, 'cause that's where we are.
I had the thought sometime this afternoon that I should absolutely be freaking out. I only have the use of one arm, and just barely, at that. J* still works full time. There's more that hasn't been done than has been done, and the gap seems to be widening. Folks come over to help - a lot - but they have lives and families and jobs and kids, too, and can only be asked to do so much. I survey the state of things and ask Why, O Lord, why am I not freaking out? I try to freak out, just because its seems the appropriate thing to do, but it just does not come. Why, O Lord, why? Because we're where we are, and that must be the right place.
This is easy. We're riding the crest of a wave that got started eight or nine years ago when I first pushed this thing into the water. That's when it was hard. That's when there was no money and no tools and no nothin' but still I managed to plug things into the ground and pull them up and sell them. No, I've done a lot of work since then, and made great strides forward, and now its easy. I can do this one handed.
There's no need at all to freak out, because old well piping had been converted into a greenhouse. And the violets are covering the ground under the trees along the fenceline. And the birds are back and I built I* a birdfeeder. One handed. And folks come over to help out and other folks come over and bring food. I've never seen greens so big in a greenhouse - maybe I won't transplant them at all, I'll just let them grow in there. They're pretty. And the poplars are about to pop out and the lawn needs mowing and the breeze comes over the hill between here and Meadow Fork and pushes against the pines on the other side of the powerline and then comes across the field and across my face.
We're rolling, just kinda rolling along, like we always do. One way or another, everything's gonna get done. It's not gonna be too pretty, not this years, anyway, but we're still gonna have food for people.

And another thing. I couldn't type a post for nothing for a while. It just wouldn't happen. All of a sudden, nothing was cooperating. I'm using Mozilla now, and that seems to be better. Stay posted.
PS It's not letting me use spellcheck. You're on your own.

Powered by Blogger