Friday, July 10, 2009

Garden of Eatin'

July 10, 2009

This year the garden will be better than last year. That was our mantra in May. By this time in July it is more like "There's still some peas in there somewhere, bring a flashlight." Our veggie garden at Green Acres Farm is always an experimental work in progress. Four years ago I thought it would be lovely to intersperse a few morning glory seeds among the pumpkins.

Six weeks later all we could see was morning glories. True, their pretty little blue and lavender flowers were "lovely" but their life-sucking-evil-doing roots , their invasive vines and tendrils choked the breath out of innocent Blue Lake Beans just minding their own business. I ripped them out, again and again. But it was so useless. They would see us coming and drop millions of seeds before we could reach them with the hoe. The next year we waited till the morning glories were up and growing but not yet making seed. Then we gleefully ripped through them with the big tractor driven tiller. The third year when they had the nerve to sprout once again, we flooded the garden plot with gasoline (of course it was certified organic, why would you ask ?) and we torched the vindictive vines in a searing blaze of angry gardener angst. Naaaaa. we just pulled and dug and tilled and chopped them up...again.

Year four after the big MG Fiasco...and we have won the battle. One or two still bravely pop up but I very delightfully riiiiiip their heads off. I AM IN CONTROL of the MG's and have proven it by "allowing" just a few of them to grow in another part of the yard where, if they DARED to spread, it would do no harm.

Obviously I still have much to learn about gardening. Remember, I spent my formative years playing on the concrete that "grew" on Ashland Ave. in Chicago.

Potatoes continue to vex me. I've tried ditches with dirt shoveled on top as the plants grow, so that the ditch became big hills by the end of the season. I tried tires last year. It made the garden look like a very neat automotive graveyard but the end result was about 4 spuds per tire tower. This year, the tots were planted in shallow rows, covered with dirt, allowed to grow some more and then repeatedly covered with old hay and straw. Not sure what the end result will be but the mulch has kept weeds at bay.

I also added more flowers . The non-invasive always cooperative Zinnia for example, just to add some color and perhaps force me to see the beauty of the space and not just the tasks that need to be accomplished. I set up two old metal chairs and a recycled tire coffee table so I might actually sit and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We'll see my friend, we'll see.

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