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May 16, 2009



Tell me about it!

I had an amazing heirloom tomato bush. I loved it and dutifully fed it with seasol and worm-castings. So good was it, that it grew too fast for me to stake it up.

And it fell over! As soon as they spotted a weakness- all the critters moved in and tore it to shreds. 1 night was all it took for my pride and joy to be decimated! Horticaust!

I figure the first year of a veggie patch is an experiment al la avant garden. Imagine if we had to live off it strictly... sorry- no eating for you this month! Sell the kids.

One good thing about them cold spells is if you are growing edible mushrooms, off they go!


When I talk to the trees,
O great trees who learn to speak slowly,
I know that they believe that they have the answer,
Then I walk in the city where I cannot hear it.

When I talk to the city,
I hear three answers before I call the question,
and slowly wish myself amongst trees,
but cannot hear myself wishing.

When I talk to the people,
who are the trees,
who live in the City.

They smile with a fond kindness,
slowly, but there is no answer
for experience to be learned by mistake.


One of the first rules a real farmer learns is to watch the weather. There are websites for that nowadays....

rusty beltway

If you're in the Northeast, buy a few seedlings and put them out in 2 weeks. Look for really green ones, which means they got a good nitrogen boost.

On the Roman Calendar, May 15 is the feast of St. Isidore the Farmer. Pious legend has it that if St. Isidore was lost in prayer, angels would tend the fields. (St. Isidore knew he wasn't God either.) In some places there's a blessing of the fields on that date.

Sun Ra has a tune w/ a lyric about the wind: "it could crush you to the ground if it will / what could you do to defend yourself?"

If they could, I bet Sun Ra and Isidore would religiously check the the WeatherUnderground website:
Best weather site, I think. Started at U Michigan, which has a good meteorology department, I'm told.

In NE PA, we don't put stuff outside until after Memorial Day. (The real one, not the Monday one.) We had a frost this month, and It's gonna be 35 degrees tonight and tomorrow.

My first time growing in S Jersey, I didn't realize how good the weather is for tomatoes: lotsa sun, sandy soil, and they grow FAST. When I went to stake them, they were already too far gone, and I would have broken the stems and stalks, so I had to forget it.

So I was forced to grow "free-range" tomatoes. They grew low and sprawled, like a giant 20 legged spider. Lost alot to birds and bugs. But plenty of "volunteers" popped up the next year, and the 2nd generation crop tasted better.

I've been a gardner, but I've never been a farmer. I know a couple w/ a garden, and 23 goats, and some chickens, and some horses, and they both work other jobs, and they are my heroes.

Sancta Isidore, Ora Pro Nobis.


One word. Xeriscape.


Xeriscape potatoes? Interesting...

This year's spring was particularly wet and chilly in my area and some tropicals I planted suffered a lot, however using plastic covers and bringing them inside did the trick. Forget Farmer's Almanac and find a reliable local weather site that gives 2-3 daily forecasts on your area. I put thermometers on all windows so I can monitor the highs and lows and if you join a gardening forum you'll often get reminders of approaching bad weather.


Gardening is a big task, where time, focus, patient, energy and etc are prerequisite, and to prevent a big dissatisfaction we must prepare and start to expect the unexpected.

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