Monday, May 28, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
It was two years ago today during a blustery nor’easter that I sat down and entered my first entry in this blog. I barely knew how a blog worked. I had never been a reader of anyone else’s blog. I didn’t know much at all.
But somehow I uploaded pictures and kept writing in the wilderness. Then on June 10, 2005, Billy, from Hawk’s Wing Farm over on the
Since that first summer many wonderful new friends have fallen down the rabbit hole and entered my world with me. When I am in the garden I am thinking how would Kerry build this pea trellis, or when would El turn this compost pile. Indoors I think about what movies Holly is seeing and what books Carol wants us to read. And these are just a few of the many wonderful online friends I have come to know from all over the country and all over the world.
To all of you who are reading this … thank you for dropping by. If you are a lurker, please leave a comment, so I can visit YOUR blog and learn from you. My time in the garden is richer because I get to share it “inch by inch row by row” with all of you.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Today was spent planting tomatoes and zucchini into the garden. It is a glorious time of year to be outdoors. Red-winged blackbirds chase each other across the hayfield and the magic aroma of Russian olives drifts up your nose on an unexpected breeze. I had that wonderful experience you only get at planting time of tucking plants into the ground today... of firming the ground with both hands. It felt a bit like a laying on of hands ... a transfer from my care to Mother Earth's care. Yes, it's time for the handoff.
And here's what's growing this week.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Then I went to the basement and brought the cast of thousands up for their first taste of fresh air and sunshine. Where will I ever plant all of these tomatoes? Sigh. Tomorrow will be our first day over 70 degrees. Surely they will enjoy this change.
Monday, May 21, 2007
After a brutal Maine winter
the world dissolves
in weak sunshine and water.
Mud sucks at your shoes.
It's impossible to keep the floors
or the dogs clean.
Peeling layers of clothes like onion skins,
you emerge pale, root-like, a little dazed
by brighter light.
You haven't looked at your legs
and discover an alarming new geography
of veins and flaws.
Last year you scoffed at people
who got spray-tanned
but it's starting to appeal.
Your only consolation is the company of others
who haven't been to Nevis
or Boca Raton,
a pale army
of fellow radishes,
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Seeds are starting to emerge. I have been succession planting green beans and have a small patch of snap peas. And the Brussels sprouts I put in two weeks ago are beginning to grow.But there are parts of the garden that are starting to get tired. My asparagus has been growing in the same spot for almost 10 years. I can see signs of age as each year more and more discolored stalks push up and then yellow and dry out. So I am planning to start a new bed this year and would welcome any suggestions on varieties that have done well for you. I’m pretty sure this old bed is ‘Mary Washington.’
Signs of age
I also need to move and replant my herb beds. I haven’t done any fertilizing to speak of in these beds, and I could use the space. So the plan is to move the herbs closer to the house and rejuvenate these beds for other crops.
Eager to get busy … now if it would just stop raining.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Dear Congressman Moran,
I am writing with regard to the Farm Bill which is up for re-authorization this year. I urge you to consider that this is really a FOOD Bill … a Food Bill that encourages the production of the least healthy calories into our nation's food supply.
I vote with my fork …. I go to the Arlington Farmer’s Market every Saturday and give thanks that I have such a resource nearby. But voting with my fork is not enough. I want a Food Bill that is in harmony with my environmental and public health values, not one that continues to make it easier to produce a TWINKIE than a pound of carrots.
Please, do not trade your support for the Farm Bill lightly this time round. Please, consider it to be a Food Bill, that has implications for the nation's health and its security.I always feel good when I do exercise this right as a citizen. I know that NOW is not the best time to send such a letter. But I will save it and send it again when the bill is up for a vote. I used to think that the typed or handwritten letter was the one most noticed by staffers, but now I realize that given the mail scares on Capitol Hill, email is the method preferred.
It's easy to do ... and you will feel better.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Lesson #1 Starting an important life interest at age 50
Her legacy here in
Lesson #2 An interest in testing the edges
Polly wanted to test the margins of Zone 6. She knew the island needed a variety of strong pines to act as windbreaks, so she planted 85 limber pines on the north end of the property. “It only took them 12 years to die,” she mused. She wasn’t looking for instant success, she was looking for endurance. And she found it in varieties of low ground azalea seeds she acquired from
Lesson #3 Patience
Polly’s experiments took the long view. Had she done her work from cuttings, she would have seen faster results, but she did all her work from seed. And she proved over time that you can extend a zone of hardiness if the plant is grown from seed. She once planted a stewartia (Stewartia malecondenron – ‘Delmarva’) from seed and waited 29 years for it to bloom.
So as I go out to my garden today and mourn the fact that my artichokes did not over winter successfully, and rue the fact that my bones and muscles ache from moving the earth around, I will remember that answering to a passion can make life from age fifty to age one hundred very worthwhile. Thank you, Polly, for living your passion in this place.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
As a treat yesterday morning for breakfast I broke off the first asparagus spear a bit before its time and pulled up a green garlic and chopped it up to have with my mushroom omelet. Yumm.
My other garden task yesterday was to prepare for the onslaught of the winter moth caterpillars. Last year I was caught unaware to the sad detriment of my fledgling apple orchard. Today I shall spray dormant oil on the tree trunks and branches. And then when the critters start ballooning onto my apple trees, I will attack with Bt. I haven’t made a decision about whether to try to protect other trees on the property. I clearly can’t do it without investing in professional help.I am pleased to repor that the garlic beds are sporting the greenest lushest foliage I can remember. I am giving all of the credit to the composted lamb manure .