Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Monday, February 17, 2014


   I'm trying to find some hope in the endless rain and snow, in the standing water in the fields, in the topsoil crusted in the soles of the boots, and the mud pit where the driveway used to be. The best I can come up with is the reflect that life came forth from the primordial ooze, and some how, by the end of this post, I will have us both convinced that these mudfields will give rise to single celled organism, a fish floundering up out of the sea, an Eden. I will take your mind of the impending doom being predicted by weather.com. You will no longer dread that nostril full of frozen air when you first step outside. Grey skies will not effect your mood. You will not be bothered by the simultaneous references to both evolution and Genesis in the second sentence.
   I will start - and bear with me here - by pointing out that our first farmer's market date is less than two months away. As you see, we are no longer feeling stuck in the middle of winter, but are consumed by stress, are convinced we will have nothing ready for market, and are wishing we could go back in time a few weeks. Early January would be nice. I could get some lettuce started, and could clean up the greenhouse. I now dread the sight of the first robin.
   Furthermore, there are not nearly enough plastic pots. I have enough to start a few things, but I need to step up a few hundred rosemary and a few hundred lavender, dozens of thymes and oreganos, and dozens each of various native perennial pollinator friendly homeopathic flowers. Should it get too warm and the plants start to outgrow their present containers, and should this happen before I buy a few cases of new pots, and nevermind that I should have done that a month ago, then we start to welcome a thick layer of ice on the windshield in he morning.
   Frozen pipes don't seem nearly as bad as burst irrigation lines. Frozen ground is preferable to frost burnt basil leaves. An evening spent huddled in the house wrapped in three blankets is relaxing compared to checking greenhouse temperatures at 3 AM. The coming of spring only means the coming of greenhouse season, and that makes a lingering winter so very, very wonderful.
   Doesn't it?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fire and Ice

   I just filled the pot in the incubation house. I have a set of seedlings warm in the incubation house, and another set frozen in the greenhouse. The incubation house is steamy, and the steam condensates on the walls and drip down the sides. The greenhouse is frozen inside, and has a layer of snow on top.
   The incubation house is a straight-forward homemade affair: a set of metal shelves wrapped in a sheet of plastic and a pot of water simmering on a hot plate on the floor. Its a tropical 75 degrees inside, just right to make certain little seedlings break dormancy and join you and I in the world. I check the trays everyday for little green heads poking out of the soil. It really sucks when you don't check for a few days and the little guys grow sideways for a few inches looking for sunlight.
   Brassica and lettuce seed are in the greenhouse, frozen solid at the moment. They warm and thaw in the daylight and freeze again at night, repeating the cycle every 24 hours, and they don't seem to mind a bit. In a day or two they'll grow up out of the soil and stretch toward the sun.
   We're right on the cusp of change in temperature regulation. As the seedlings in the incubation house sprout and I move those trays into the greenhouse, I'll heat the greenhouse at night and keep everything above freezing. Phases change, so things can't change phase.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


This year starts in a swamp.
Ankle-deep in rain-water, and looking for the chest high waders.
Potting soil comes tomorrow, and that in itself is a milestone. A milestone like the creek rising over Sam's sandbar, or the ditch flowing over in Walnut. No, more significant than that. A mile much longer than that.
Never before have I bought a season's worth of potting soil all in one swoop. This year I've done just that, and before a single brassica has been dropped into a sterile soilless mix and sent its little radical bursting through its thirsty, soaked seed coat. Before the grass has started to green, before the first dandelion bllloms along the driveway. This stuff might get snowed on.
It comes tomorrow, delivered yet. Big truck, big order, big plans. I've got a space cleared out in the shed near Julie's, pallets at the ready. I've thought ahead. I've planned for everything except the standing water at the lower end of the farm. Everything except the torrent of water that fell from the skies in the middle of last night, trying, yes, but not quite succeeding in washing away my careful preparation.
I hope they bring a forklift.

A Sane Revolution

DH Lawrence

If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don't make it in ghastly seriousness,
don't do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun.

Don't do it because you hate people,
do it just to spit in their eye.

Don't do it for the money,
do it and be damned to the money.

Don't do it for equality,
do it because we've got too much equality
and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart
and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.

Don't do it for the working classes.
Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own
and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.

Don't do it, anyhow, for international Labour.
Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.
Let's abolish labour, let's have done with labouring!
Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it's not labour.
Let's have it so! Let's make a revolution for fun!

Powered by Blogger