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September 26, 2014: The Garden of Eatin’ – The Story Continues

Today we harvested well over 100 pounds of potatoes in three sites –to the right of the hoop house, inside the hoop house, and in the lower quadrant garden. The hoop house and lower quadrant sites were afterthoughts – we had extra seed potatoes, so we planted them in the areas with the most open space. Actually, Pete did the planting. I did the harvesting in these areas.

Much to my surprise, the potatoes did the best of all our root crops. And the potatoes in the site next to the hoop house did the best. I dug in the soil with my gloved hands and pulled forth the bounty. And Pete used the pitchfork and pulled forth even more potatoes. We put them in buckets and then stored them (temporarily) in my cabin. I guess fresh potatoes have to cure before one puts them in a root cellar.

My attitude about gardening has done a full 360 degrees. I used to be disinterested in it, and see any gardening endeavors as being a chore. At the beginning of this garden season, I was so-so. But I’m now into it. I’m not as into gardening as, say, our friend Anne Corinne who runs a 36 family CSA. In other words, I don’t like to garden. Rather, I garden to live.

My attitude now is one in which I’m embracing the concept of delayed gratification. Work hard and later reap what you sow. This is the psalm according to Alys – book 1, chapter 1, page 1, paragraph 1, sentence 1.

If Adam and Eve had not been booted out of the garden, my life would be far different. I’d be plucking fruit off the vines and eating it right then and there. There would be no planting, weeding, harvesting, or garden clean-up. I don’t feel as though I should be having to deal with the consequences of someone else’s sin. I wasn’t there. If I had been there, I would have been the voice of reason. I would have said to both Adam and Eve that every generation that follows them would be inconvenienced by their sheer act of thoughtlessness.

I don’t know if this would have done any good – humans, in general, don’t seem to have the capacity to think about consequences in relation to future generations. This has been proven time and time and time and time again. It’s enough to make my head spin.
However, I do now know certain things about gardening that I would not know otherwise. For instance, I know that pulling weeds early on, that is when they are itty bitty things – keeps them from getting out of control. And keeping weeds in check makes it easier for plants to get much-needed nutrients. I also know that its important to thin crops and also to get them in the ground early.

In the past, our garden efforts almost exclusively centered around the physical labor end of things. We literally broke soil here, pulled innumerable rocks, and added compost of our own making. None of this was any fun at all, in part because there was in these, the early years, no harvest. Now it’s the other way around. We don’t have vegetables coming out of our ears yet, but this year was better than the previous years. And next year will be even better. I am going to be more involved with planning and in this respect assist Pete in determining what we should and should not grow. For instance, I want to grow fewer cucumbers and more zucchini. And I want to grow fewer regular peas and more snow pod peas. And I want to grow less garlic and more green onions. And I want to grow more beets – well, we did not grow turnips this year, and this was a good thing. And if I have anything to say about it, we’ll grow more flowers, so that bees will be happier. And I need to put more time into the upper garden. We had just enough greens to get by but we could have done better.

It would be good if we could find someone who might give us an assist, say in exchange for produce. This would then decrease Pete and my overall workload. I would prefer that this person have some knowledge about gardening and how its done. Pete knows far more than I do. I know some, but someone who knows more than I do would be greeted around here with open arms. Maybe we could locate a WOOFER, one of those willing workers on organic farms. Maybe we could also share this

person with others in our neighborhood.
Pete is planning on (again) making changes to the greenhouse, maybe even adding a hot water solar system. This way, we’ll get more heat in the greenhouse and consequently more tomatoes.

An aside – the hoophouse is now ours. We got it in exchange for providing crop records to NCRS. This was a three-year time commitment. It feels good to now say that we own it. I in fact would like to get another. Pete knows how to apply the brakes. His take on the matter was a two word statement, that is “uh uh.”

Next: 257. 9/27/14: The God Almighty List