Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We Forgot Our Straws

Things are beginning to look promising. There are hints of tiny green rows in the lower field - the radishes are coming up. Green rows are always more encouraging then random green things spread around the fields. Rows means you planted it and meant it to be there.
Tomatoes are up in the greenhouse. In the incubation house, they germinated in a bit more than 48 hours. It's all about the incubation house.
Carol Lynn came by yesterday to get her plants. She was all fired up to get them right into the ground. I sort of tried to talk her into holding off a bit, then second thought it and decided it would be alright to get the brassicas out. Then I decided she should wait.
She won't.
We took Isiah to Grits for dinner. I told Isiah about orchard mason bees, non-social, non-honey making, pollinating hymenopteras that can be attracted to the garden. They lay eggs in sap-sucker holes or worm holes in trees, holes that can be simulated with soda straws. We decided we'd save our straws and bundle them together and hang them in an apple tree and wait for the bees to be born.
Then we talked about Spring, and how you can plot sunrise times on a graph, and how it's snowing in Calgary and how they're setting tomatoes out in Texas. Carol Lynn went back to her farm, and Isiah and I left for ours. We got back only to realize that we for got our straws. Isiah solved the problem immediately. Tonight, we're going to have to go back to Grits for more dessert.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Veritable Frenzy of Activity, Followed by a Period of House Cleaning

It was warm and dry last week, a rare, extended warm and dry for March, I readied the ground I will need for Spring planting, and then I readied some more. It's fertilized and disked, and dragged out nice and smooth. And there were warm and dry days after that, so I started to seed. Carrots are in the ground, and beets and lettuce and radishes and bok choi and spinach and probably some other things, too.
The internet was telling me that rain would be likely tomorrow, and then it was tomorrow. I was determined to get as much done as possible before the wetness. I plowed my neighbor's garden for her, then dissked it, then disked it again. I graded our road. I raked up the area in front of the intern house, and then I mowed (!). I mulched the raspberries.
And then the rain came. It came gentle and slow, settling on and around the little seeds and soaking into their little seed coatings. And it rained the day after that and it's forecast to rain for the rest of the week. I've been in the house picking things up and putting them back down. The back room where the washing machine is actually has a floor, and the foyer no longer looks like Vikings camped there. My desk may actually be organised by the time the sun sets tonight, and if the rain continues, I may takle the potting shed.

Monday, March 09, 2009

We Become Increasingly Gentrified, or At Least Placticized

It dried out quite nicely last week, enough to disk the lower fields and get some fertilizer spread. And there was nothing left to do by yesterday but to put seeds in the ground. This may be a new early mark - March 8th - but all the conditions have come together just right. The internet said this warm spell should last all week, maybe with a few showers. Just what I need for everything to germinate.
I dusted off the stupid fucking plastic thing, though I did not have high hopes. I figured I'd use it just until I got incredibly frustrated, then throw the thing across the field, and then put all the seeds into the ground by hand, like I always do. But the stupid fucking plastic thing actually came through, rolling across the ground and dropping seeds into the ground with premeasured regularity just like it's designed to do. It was a new day for the farm, and for my relationship with the stupid fucking plastic thing.
The stupid fucking plastic thing usually falls apart halfway down a row, or just doesn't drop any seeds at all, or drops them all in the same place, or falls apart again, or whatever. Yesterday, it came through. It entered that rarefied arena of plastic things that actually work.
I'm all excited about it. If this works, there are other things out there that will work. I'm combing through all the fancy catalogs, now, and I'm going to buy everything cheap plastic thing they have to offer. Someday, I vow, we're going to become a real organic farm

Friday, March 06, 2009

Fun With Wildlife

I had wondered why the birds have been so voracious lately, and then I happened to glance out the window late one night to see a deer, tapping at the bird feeder with its nose and knocking the seeds down onto the ground. It's the latest in a long string of events that prompt me to say: Now it's gone too far.
The surround the farm at ten feet fence is finished, but for the gates and a small stretch between the greenhouses. Oh, and a small gap in the upper field, where I brought the fence over a small dip but didn't hug the ground as close as I should have. I ran the bottom wire twelve inches above the ground, and they crawl under. I have a feeling the learning curve is just beginning.
Next, I'll start to deal with the crows.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

We Continue to Investigate Crop Circles

Monday, March 02, 2009


I turned over the first garden patch a few days ago. About a third of the lower field, getting ready for peas and potatoes and onions and radishes.
The soil turned easily and neatly, following the moldboard up and over and back down again, where it layed down smooth and flat. That means I hit it, for once. Not too wet, and not too dry.
The margin is slim in February - you get maybe three days when you can plow. That's ten per cent. Seems like an adequate margin, until you look at everything else that needs to get done. It would be, of course, ludicrous to think that I can hit better than ten per cent on a regular basis. I did it this year, though, and the field dissolved into its little aggregates and rolled along the moldboard and fell back down into a field again. Just in time for a few nights in the teens. It's just what you ask for.
I walk the fields before and after I plow. I pick up a rock, a dried tomato stalk or a shred of reemay. I'll pick up and earthworm, afterward, or lunge for a ground beetle. I'll cup the soil in my hand and press it into a ball. Then I'll rub it between two hands and let it fall through my fingers. It's just this little moment of communion that we have, and I like it.

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