Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Garden's Progress...

Wildflowers (weeds)
 It's Tuesday evening. I learned a valuable lesson this morning: get up early, Joe. Get up early and get into the garden. It was hot today (in the mid 80's) and humid, and by 11:30 there was thunder nearby and inside, the weather radio was alerting us to severe weather just to our south. We didn't get anything more than thunder, but with those delays, I was only able to get two plots dug up, tilled and planted. In the past few days, I've managed to get seven plots planted in the garden: More sorrel, lettuce (Iceburg, Australian Yellow Leaf, Amish Deer Tongue, Dandelion), Onions (scallions), Bull's Blood Beets, Kohlrabi, Mustard Greens, Cucumbers (Homemade Pickles and Marketmore 76), Beans (Black Valentine, Provider, & Rattlesnake), Turnips, Lemon Cucumbers, Summer Savory, Black Zucchini, Ronde de Nice Squash, and Country Gentleman Corn. I'm hoping that the rain forecasted the next few days holds off to let me get more planted each morning.

This is a big week here at Three Persimmons Farm. It was a year ago this Saturday that Rich & I first saw our new home. It was Rich's birthday, and we toured it first with the landlord, then the next day, alone in the rain. And we fell in love with it, obviously. What we both recall from that first visit was how green everything was outside, and the irises and peonies blooming. This morning, the irises greeted us when we got up. Some yellow and some purple. And the chives bloomed this morning, too. And the peony, well, I imagine it'll be blooming by this Saturday's anniversary/birthday party (for Rich). The fields around us are blooming with the yellow flowers pictured just above. They're both beautiful and kind of unsightly (when they occur in the yard). This afternoon, after I'd spent six hours hoeing and tilling and planting about 30 square feet of garden, the farmer who leases the land across the road from us started working his farmland. He drove his huge tractor, spreading what we guess is Round-Up to kill all the pretty weeds so he can plant his genetically-modified soybeans. Even though I was aching this afternoon, I was thinking how glad I am to be growing plants the old-fashioned way. Sure, I may find better ways to water, or till, or plant, or grow...but I won't be resorting to chemicals and ecological unsound practices, or producing a product that I wouldn't eat.

The irises in one of our herb gardens.
While I'm still worried I won't have a lot to sell come the first few weeks of the farmers' market, I am now on more familiar territory, planting things like cucumbers and squash, and beans (although I've never grown them before), and knowing that in a few weeks, the garden is really going to look like a garden and less like a hard clay patch. Already the peas and lettuces and radishes are beginning to grow like gangbusters, and each week, we're able to eat a little bit more from the garden. (Last week and tonight, asparagus, picked from a patch on the edge of the garden; and last night, a dandelion salad picked from the fringes of the yard.)

So right now, I'm feeling mostly excited. A little sore, a little sunburned, and a little like I'm on vacation (mostly being sunburned and having cocoa butter on it...) I'm excited that every day I'm able to get up and go outside and work in the sweet-smelling soil, and in a month or so, be able to offer the fruits of my labor...

The garden as of this afternoon...

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