GETTING ORGANIZED

1

Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 14-05-2011

 

THIS IS WHERE IT ALL STARTED BACK IN FEBRUARY.  IT IS HARD TO RECOGNIZE THIS AS THE SAME GARDEN WHEN ONE VISITS IN MID MAY.  MANY CHANGES HAVE TAKEN PLACE AND MORE ARE TO COME AS WE ARE STARTING TO ENJOY THE PRODUCE OF OUR LABOR.

 

BUT LET ME GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING…

THE VERY BEGINNING…THAT WAS LAST YEAR.  I FINALLY ADMITTED THAT I WAS NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE WORKING IN THE GARDEN AND TO ENJOY THE VEGETABLES AS I HAVE DONE IN THE PAST.  THIS WAS DUE TO MY KNEES  HAVING A MIND OF THEIR OWN (OR SHOULD I JUST SAY…WEARING OUT).  IT HAD BECOME TOO DIFFICULT TO BEND AND CRAWL AND STOOP AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO PRODUCE A FINE GARDEN.  I NEEDED HELP.  I ASKED MY NEIGHBOR, CHRIS CROSLEY, A RETIRED VETERINARIAN FROM ST. LOUIS (ALSO A MASTER NATURALIST), IF SHE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN CO-OPTING WITH ME.  I WAS DELIGHTED WHEN SHE SAID SHE WOULD BE THRILLED TO HELP.  SO WE BEGAN TO WEED AND HOE AND PLANT AND ACTUALLY STARTED TO MAKE A DECENT GARDEN.  IT WAS NOT WHAT WE WANTED BUJT WE HAD SOME VERY NICE POTATO PLANTS ALONG WITH WONDERFUL EDIBLE-POD PEAS AND A GREAT POLE BEAN FORM JOHNNY’S SEEDS WHICH I SCOFFED UP BEFORE CHRIS COULD GET ANY.  THEY WERE THE BEST POLE BEAN I HAVE EVER EATEN AND I DID NOT KNOW CHRIS WAS NOT GETTING HER SHARE.  I DID SAVE 400 SEEDS FROM THE 100 PLANTS WE GREW SO THAT WE COULD GROW THEM AGAIN THIS YEAR.  WE ALSO GREW A FINE CROP OF SPRING MIX GREENS BUT WE WERE DISAPPOINTED  WITH OUR CROP OF TOMATOES.   THAT WAS THE CROP THAT WE WERE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO AND WE ENDED UP BUYING BLAH TOMATOES FROM THE GROCERY STORE.  THE HEAT OF THE BEAUFORT SUMMER WAS UNBEARABLE FOR BOTH THE PLANTS AND FOR US SO THE GARDEN WENT DORMANT IN JULY.  THAT MEANS IT WENT TO JOINT GRASS, CARDINAL VINE AND NUT GRASS.

 

FEBRUARY 2011:

CHRIS AND I DECIDED TO EXPAND OUR CO-OP SO AS TO GET MORE HELP.  WE INVITED TWO MORE COUPLES TO JOIN US.  PEGGY AND WAYNE WILLENBERG  AND KATHY AND DAVIS FULSOM.  PEGGY IS A BIOLOGIST AND METEROLOGIST (ONE OF THE TV “TWISTER SISTERS” – THEY CHASE TORNADOS) AS WELL AS A BEE KEEPER AND SEVERAL OTHER SPECIALTIES INCLUDING A MASTER GARDENER AND WAYNE IS A RETIRED ENGINEER AND ATTORNEY WHILE DAVIS IS A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA AT BLUFFTON (MARINE ECONOMIST) AND KATHY IS A RETIRED TEACHER, READING SPECIALIST, ACTIVE YOGA INSTRUCTOR AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, A STRONG PERSON.  THEY AGREED TO JOIN US SO THIS SPRING WE HAD THE GARDEN GROUP ASSEMBLED.  WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MADE.  I KNEW RIGHT AWAY THAT WE WERE ON OUR WAY TO HAVING A “MAGIZINE COVER” GARDEN.

PEGGY STARTED THINGS OFF BY WEEDING THE ENTIRE GARDEN TO GET IT READY TO GO.  IT WAS NICE TO FIND THE SIDES OF THE RAISED BEDS AGAIN.  WE DECIDED WE WOULD MULCH EACH BED THIS YEAR TO FIGHT THE WEEDS AND PRESERVE THE MOISTURE.  KATHY AND DAVIS SUGGESTED SPANISH MOSS.  WHAT A GREAT IDEA UNTIL WE HAD HARVESTED ALL THE MOSS WITHIN ARMS REACH OF THE GROUND ON MY 70 ACRES.  DAVIS AND KATHY HAVE COME TO OUR RESCUE AGAIN BY DELIVERING WOOD CHIPS (FROM THE LOCAL ELECTRIC COMPANY MAINTENANCE CREWS).

WE HAVE SPENT A LOT OF TIME AUGMENTING OUR BEDS WITH MANURE AND COMPOST AS WELL AS LAYING SOAKER HOSES IN MANY OF THE NEWER BEDS.  YES, I SAID NEWER BEDS.  AS WE WORKED THE GARDEN AND FILLED THE EXISTING SPACE WITH PLANTINGS, WE NEEDED NEW AREAS SO WE EXPANDED.  WE PUT IN A 50X4 FOOT BED FOR MELONS AS WELL AS TWO AREAS FOR OUR THORNLESS BLACKBERRIES AND BOYSENBERRIES.  MORE ON THE BOYSENBERRIES LATER.  WE ALSO CREATED A LONG BED FOR KENTUCKY WONDERS POLE BEANS ALONG THE OUTER FENCE OF THE GARDEN (ALSO PLANTED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES AND ZINNIAS  HERE).

THE NEXT STEP WAS TO FENCE THE VEGETABLE GARDEN WHICH WAS INSIDE THE 3 ACRE LARGER ENGLISH GARDEN.  THE OUTER FENCE WAS FOR DETERRING THE DEER FROM EATING EVERYTHING AND THE GARDEN FENCE (WHICH IS ELECTRIFIED) IS TO DISCOURAGE RACCOONS AND SQUIRRELS.  SO FAR-SO GOOD.

WE HAVE ALSO CO-OPTED THE CHICKENS AS THE 25 HENS PRODUCE MORE EGGS THAN ALL OF US CAN CONSUME BUT THERE PRODUCTION OF SOIL ENHANCER (POOP) IS ONGOING AND APPRECIATED.

WE HAD LOST ALL OUR NATURAL HONEY BEES AND WANTED TO IMPROVE OUR YIELD IN THE GARDEN SO WE DECIDED TO START A HIVE OF OUR OWN.  I HAD KEPT AN APIARY OF 50 HIVES WHEN I WAS YOUNG SO WITH PEGGY’S HELP IT WOULD BE FUN TO GET BACK INTO IT AT A SANE LEVEL.  I BUILT A TOP BAR HIVE THIS SPRING AND WE FINALLY GOT OUR BEES INSTALLED LAST WEEK.  THEY ARE WORKING THE CUCUMBERS AS I COMPOSE THIS POST.  WHAT A JOY IT IS TO WORK THEM AGAIN.  I WILL TALK ABOUT BOTH THE CHICKENS AND THE BEES IN LATER POST.  I WILL ALSO GET EXCITED ABOUT THE CITRUS TREES WE HAVE (15 YEAR OLD TREES THAT ARE PRODUCING GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, NAVELS, JUICE ORANGES, BLOOD ORANGES, KEY LIMES AND MYERS LEMONS IN QUANTITIES FAR EXCEEDING OUR EFFORTS TO SHARE THEM).

THERE IS LOTS TO DISCUSS ABOUT OUR GARDEN ALREADY AND WE WILL TACKLE THAT AS TIME GOES BY.  WE WANT TO SHARE OUR FUN WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN.  THAT IS WHY WE HAVE STARTED THIS BLOG.  WE ALSO KNOW THAT WE HAVE A LOT TO LEARN FROM THOSE WHO READ THIS BLOG AND ARE ANXIOUS TO GET STARTED.  SO WE WANT ALL READERS OF THIS BLOG TO DO SOMETHING FOR US.  WE WANT YOU TO SEND OUR BLOG ADDRESS TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK.  I KNOW YOU WILL THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE WILL NOT BE INTERESTED BUT WE DON’T KNOW WHO THOSE PEOPLE ARE SO LET’S NOT LIMIT OURSELVES TO A FEW. LET’S GAMBLE AND SEND IT TO EVERY ONE AND GET TO ALL THAT ARE INTERESTED. THEN LET’S ALSO ASK THESE PEOPLE TO SEND THE INVITE TO EVERYONE ON THEIR ADDRESS  LIST AND KEEP IT GOING.  WE COULD HAVE MANY SUBSCRIBERS VERY QUICKLY – IT IS FREE AND A LOT OF FUN AS WELL AS EDUCATIONAL.  DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MOST POPULAR ACTIVITY IN AMERICA TODAY IS GARDENING.  EVEN BEATS FISHING AND WATCHING FOOTBALL.

 

A SAMPLE EMAIL COULD LOOK LIKE THIS:

HI GUYS:

I HAVE FOUND A GARDEN BLOG THAT I AM ENJOYING AND WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU.  CHECK IT OUT AND SEE WHAT YOU THINK.  IT HAS EVERYTHING – CHICKENS, GARDEN INFORMATION, BEES, CITRUS, FRUITS AND BERRIES AND MORE.  JUST SUBSCRIBE – IT’S FREE- AND YOU WILL GET A NOTICE VIA EMAIL WHEN A NEW POST IS ENTERED.  HAVE FUN.

OR YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN EMAIL.

 

BUT SEND SOMETHING.

 

THAT’S IT FOR THIS POST.

 

MORE LATER.

KATHY WEED IN APRIL'S GARDEN

Kathy in the April garden.

GORDON

 

Comments (1)

Nice post Gordon. I hope everyone will start using the comment feature on these posts. They form a dialog about each post and makes the site more interesting. The theme shows the number of comments in a yellow balloon on the top right side of each post.

Write a comment