Sunday, July 3, 2011


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


Hallie said...

I think the gardening is coming right along. Each year beings new learning and a slightly different approach. I definitely think it will pay off.

Hallie said...

Correction: each year BRINGS. Not easy to type on iPad. :(

Leah said...

Kathy: Calling one's self a gardener can be viewed from other's prospectives. I think you're efforts are commendable. You grow things that you eat. What more can a person want? I don't garden, haven't tried much and, of course, that's the reason I'm not a gardener. When I put my efforts beside yours, you shine.

What you need is the friendship of people that have vegetable gardens in the area. Sharing the joys and sorrows of a produce garden with someone else will give you insight and courage to keep going.

You don't want to lose any seedlings to fate, bad weather or hungry creatures. Each year you start a garden is one more year of experience. Wisdom is letting go of what you can't control.

Love the pastoral scene of fields and mist.

Happy 4th to all who read this blog. I'm glad to be an American.

Kathy said...

And you know, Hallie, I never noticed the typo. The mind just skims over it and makes it work.

Thank you for the encouragement, Leah and Hallie. And I'm glad to be an American, too.

DrJulieAnn @ Modern Retro Woman said...

I've given up trying to garden as long as we live where we do. Our very hot micro-eco-system is just not conducive to gardening from about May until September, no matter what additives we add to the ground. Plus, the plants don't seem to like the city water. I think they put too much chlorine into it.

Even our ice plant, which we have instead of a lawn because it is drought friendly and doesn't require so much water, has started dying this year. Go figure.

DrJulieAnn @ Modern Retro Woman said...

PS: My definition of a gardener: You get to enjoy the fruits of your labor (whether they be a few flowers or a handful of spinach). Seems to me that you fit that definition.

Happy Fourth!

Chris said...

I'm impressed that you garden! Dan does it for us, and I harvest. We planted a few weeks ago (too cold before), and now the bugs have feasted on the new shoots. He replanted yesterday. Like you, we'll see.

Kathy said...

This afternoon I watered and fertilized my assorted raised beds. But as I was standing there cogitating over my healthy-looking pea plants, it suddenly occurred to me that they weren't blooming -- nor was there any sign of blooms. I learned that if peas haven't bloomed and set on pods before 80-degree temps hit, it's not going to happen. So tomorrow I'll rip them out and move on to something else. But as Chris says, it was really too cold to plant -- at least I thought so -- and now it's too hot.

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone.