Sunday, April 08, 2012

Growing my garden, organically

I just came in from planting the blackberries and Jerusalem artichokes that Leesa brought me from her home in Alabama. She also brought me some black raspberries. I thought I'd take a quick lunch and rest my back.  I grabbed the box of strawberries out of the fridge to go with my kefir. These are store-bought strawberries. Phooey! They are just about tasteless. I have three different types of strawberries in my garden, so hopefully I'll have some real berries soon. There is little that I like better than berries, berries that taste like berries!

Today I'm also planting sweet basil and Black Prince tomatoes and poke and stevia. A pretty eclectic mix. My sweet potato slips are growing so fast on the window sill that I can almost see them stretch. They'll be ready to go into the ground in early May. The Yukon Gold and Red potatoes are doing great in the garden as are the peas, onions, beets, rhubarb, chard and strawberries. We just picked all the flowers off the baby blueberries to make them put their energy into growing bigger and stronger this year.

I'm not planting a big garden this year, but I am hungering for real food, so I am being a little more serious about it. Last year almost everything I planted in the spring drowned in the very wet May we had. So, this year, I'm doing raised gardens. During the walkway construction at work, they brought in pallets with wire hoops holding rock for the seat walls. These hoops are now in the process of becoming my raised beds. I'm putting them in areas where it is easy to water them and where they will get the drainage that I think the plant needs and the amount of sun it seems to want.

My garden is growing organically, by working with the plants and our land. It is a process and I'm willing to accept that it is going to take time. Maybe the rest of my life.

My garden in progress 4-8-12. Wire framed raised beds, hugel kulture pile in process, rainbow chard, center left.
At the moment, my garden looks kinda like a junkyard with wire hoops and piles of lumber and dirt mixed in with both planted greenery and enthusiastic weeds. But, it's my garden, for my purposes at my home and I don't really have to worry too much what it looks like. And, I know the direction that I am going with it. I really do want it to be pretty, some year soon, but I don't want to push, plan, chart and organize it. I want it to grow, healthy, wholesome, tasty and naturally. And yet, I do find myself trying to explain and interpret it to anybody who comes over. I don't want to apologize for it, because I know how really cool it is, but it does look like a junkyard.

One of the big pushes right now at work is to collect, develop and publish a master plan for the Ozark Folk Center Heritage Herb Garden. The whole plan exists in many documents, posters and ideas that Tina Marie Wilcox has, and has had for many years, but it needs to be collated, communicated and published so that everybody in the park not only knows the direction she is headed with the gardens, but can share the whole wonderful concept with our visitors. This master plan is necessary, for the stage that the OFC garden is in right now and to carry it on into the future. I hope to help with it and learn from the development of this master plan. Maybe, in 25 years, my garden might be worth creating a plan for?

Meanwhile, I'll just write blog posts to share what I'm doing in search for tasty strawberries. I'm going back to my garden. Have a happy day!

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