Another few weeks and Ann will be threatening me with my life if I bring in another five gallon bucket of tomatoes or beans or squash. This is a statement of faith, as anything can happen in love, war or summer gardens. Today, I’m going to anchor down the tomato cages, having learned from freak windstorms in years past that five foot tall fruit-laden plants are quite top-heavy. There’s nothing quite so sickening as to go out after the storm has passed and find …

I Come to the Garden Alone Read more »

Finally in the middle of July, our garden is visible above the ground, even from the road some 30 feet away. For the longest time, it seemed like an iceberg–7/8ths below the surface, invisible. Now tomatoes near the tops of their wire cages, and the Delicata squash wrap their tendrils around the cattle-panel walls of the garden, climbing toward the highest wire as it they intend to stay. Floppy yellow flowers open first from the base of the squash vines, and bring the first …

Fruitless: Unpollenated Gardens Read more »

Don’t ask me how people do it with unprotected gardens in Floyd County. We’ve had to enclose ours in a stockade fence against the deer, and the place only lacks razor wire around the top or it would look like one of the human containment facilities the Agenda 21 folks are certain we’ll all live in one day. The garden keeps me off the streets. I do a lot of sitting out there of late, having to water every living plant every other day or so. …

Garden Gate(d) Read more »

This time of year, the day starts early and ends late. It starts and ends outdoors. These are the HHH days, where heat, haze and humidity spawn afternoon showers–if we’re lucky. If we’re not, the garden takes an extra hour of attention at least every other day to keep it watered. No less than for us humans, there is no vegetable life without water. it provides a water skeleton that supports the plant (or not: you’ll know when plants wilt they are dehydrated.) Plants …

Vegetables: Not Without Water Read more »

I have been feeling the pain these past few well-below-freezing April mornings knowing what our local vegetable farmers are suffering at the hand of winter that won’t give it up. Thousands of tender sets and sprouts in long rows, the results of hours of back-bending work and tedium, lay limp and lifeless in the cold soil this morning–AGAIN. Native plants have evolved in place and are more-or-less adapted to late frosts and freezes. Our food crops, OTOH, are bred for color or firmness of …

Frozen Peas: Thousands Die Young Read more »