29 May 2013

La Belle's Hobby Farm: Take It to the Edge. . .of the Garden

Farming is a profession of hope
~ Brian Brett



G
arden tours are great sources of inspiration.  I visited a friend’s garden a couple of weeks ago when he was on the Frederick tour.

Forget green thumb; that man has two green hands!

Not to mention he lives in an 1895 home that still has the original heart of pine floors and nine (count ‘em) working fireplaces.  The garden was icing on a very yummy Victorian cake.

The first thing I noticed were the cute bird hose guards/guides.  They looked antique, but were actually made of resin and purchased at Lowes.  Score!  I decided that my garden was in desperate need of hose guards too.

The second thing I noticed were the expanded beds and trenched edges.  He had dug them out himself and suddenly I knew I didn’t have to put in an entire new bed (although I still want to).  I could expand what I already have.

Many hands make light yard work
So this past Saturday, I set out to take those inspirations and make them happen.  My Sweet Corn Organic Nursery plants arrived as promised last Friday, and my friend Aurelius drove down to dig in the dirt with me.  He was a tremendous help in expanding the garden bed about a foot out.  This meant I was able to put all my plants in the ground, leaving none to wither and fade in a tiny pot.  So now I have Country Gentleman Corn, Fennel, Leeks, Black Krim Tomatoes, Big Cherry Tomatoes, Black Brandywine Tomatoes, Orange Amana Tomatoes, Pickling Cucumbers, and Lemon Cucumbers.


digging up the sod






Corn!

Fennel and Leeks

Ruthlessly, I also chopped back the paperwhites (though you aren’t supposed to do that until the green stalks turn brown, but they were taking up too much sun and space.) and added five bags of organic compost.  And therein lies a story. . .

I’ve bought organic compost from my favorite local nursery before.  But on this particular morning, I wasn’t sure how much I would need for roughly 20 plants.  So asked the cashier (whom I hadn’t met before) what she thought.  Conversation went as follows: 
Her:    “You should try “Black Kow” ~ it’s perfect!  I use it on my garden!”

Me:     “Is it organic?”

Her:    “Well sure!  It’s just cow manure!”

Me:     Inward sigh.  “Yes, but do they give the cows hormones or antibiotics?  Because all that will come out in their manure and I don’t want that on my plants.”

Her:    Glazed look.  “Uh, well, that I don’t know.”
 
Yep.  Organic doesn’t just mean natural, honey.  She couldn’t tell me about the mulch either, so I didn’t buy any until I could call the company and ask.  But at this rate, I may as well rent a chipper and make my own mulch.  Lord knows I have enough trees to make it worth my while.  And I’ll have peace of mind that nothing untoward is blanketing my veggie babies.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
Working in the garden and then swing dancing is not something I recommend.  My muscles were growling at me all of Sunday and half of Monday.  Stretch.  Must remember to stretch.

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