Friday, March 27, 2009

planting, planTING, PLANTING!!!

This morning my dear dear roommate popped into my room to say goodbye (as is her ritual) and to ask me about my plans for the day. I said I planned to sleep late and do nothing, and she said good for you. Instead, I slept moderately late and drove to Florence to have a letter notarized, to mail some postcards, and to buy some organic, well-rotted cow manure (seen above) from a soil farm in Vermont. The manure came from Vermont, but I purchased it at Florence Hardware, which is, fortunately, surviving the onslaught of the terrible Home Depot in nearby Hadley.

To the un-trained eye, the garden doesn't look like much now, nor does it look very big, but it is, in fact, quite large. Along the squat trellis above are three rows of dwarf, sugar snap peas: one row on either, outward side, and one running down the spine of the structure. The astute observer will notice some string action: this is to stabilize the structure against the firm March wind.

The firm March wind may be juicy and cold, but peas enjoy nothing better than cool weather, and so the wind becomes the foot servant of the Queen. So too the arugula and purple Osaka mustard I planted today: all of these cool season crops will be done and done by the time the weather is warm enough to plant the solanaceous vegetables: tomatoes, peppers, squash, and so forth. Furthermore, the peas, like their relatives, the alfalfas and the clovers, fix nitrogen in the soil, and thus enrich it for further crops.

Like these rotted pie pumpkins. If mother nature is smiling upon me, my roommate, and my friends, a handful of these pumpkin seeds will germinate when temperature permits and the result will be a handful of pumpkin vines which I will train along the edges of the garden! It was by no mistake, nor by no careless hand that those babies were left in situ to be covered in snow and eventually rot.

Well, that's quite enough for now. Sprouting pictures to follow soon enough; and thereafter, perhaps pictures of snap peas and fresh pasta. Peace

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