Mike always claims that since I'm the next generation from farming / gardening and he's several generations removed, I should be the one to manage the garden. Hmmmm. Is the ability to garden hereditary? I've never been impressed with the results of my gardening efforts -- never been able to say, "I picked excellent ABCs this year because I added XYZ to the soil." I don't know the rules of good gardening, but I'm pretty sure there are some. Nevertheless, gardening is at least to some extent weather-dependent, which on some level makes all gardeners equal.
In an attempt to be "earth friendly," I have a composter and I'm zealous about throwing my kitchen scraps into it. It gets plenty of "greens" but not so much "browns." Now and then I review the rules and try harder.
I'll tell you what didn't work in the composter -- those Sun Chip bags that were touted as being fully compostable. When Mike and I removed compost for the tire beds the other day, those little pieces and strips of Sun Chip bags I had cut and put into the composter were still intact. What a mess! I had to pick them out piece by piece -- though I don't suppose leaving them in the soil would have caused a problem. I read that Frito-Lay quietly stopped producing the compostable bags in November 2010 because -- get this! -- people complained that the bag was noisy. Perhaps that's true, but another good reason to have ceased production was that the bag didn't readily break down. So, if you were feeling guilty because you didn't compost the Sun Chips bag, you can be exonerated.
You will note in the top photo that a bunny sits near the composter. Bunnies, other rodents, and deer will eat the garden. And when the grasshoppers move in, it won't matter whether you've been a good gardener or not. Therefore, after I finished planting the tire beds the other day, Mike hammered fence stakes into the ground around each tire to support wire fencing and netting.
Anyway, I keep trying. Every year Mike tells me how much he loves garden produce, especially spinach, peas, and tomatoes. He also allows that I do good things with zucchini. But I struggle with gardening. I hope I'm not too old to learn some gardening tricks because we've gone to the trouble to build ourselves a homely system of raised beds that may or may not be good enough. At any rate, the system will not improve until my gardening abilities improve.
This last picture I took Thursday morning (June 29) before we left the farm -- a view to the north. The wispy fog rising over the hill is coming off the Clearwater River. KW