Friday, June 22, 2012

The invisible hand of domestication

Heather here, from good ol' Abingdon, VA.

We do these things so our children can have more beautiful days.

I think the thing I am happiest about is the broccoli. It is beautiful broccoli. Seeing this plant's life cycle culminating in this crazy flower-head; this big THING coming up from primordial blue-green waving leaves. I can eat this--this flower is for me.

So many evolutionary paths for a species to go down.Who is leading whom down the garden path?  

Well, I could wax prophetic about the wonders of plant growth forever, but onwards and upwards! 

Thursday found us in the hot seat as far as compost delivery. Rented a bobcat and with the help of volunteers, scooped compost into people's trucks and delivered it to their home gardens. Some participants have trucks but many do not, so we acted as compost deliverers. It started dumping rain at one point and we were just shoveling this wet, heavy stuff, streaked with mud and running around like crazy. We talked about improving your garden with compost and all the different ways you can apply compost. Everyone was really excited to receive it and I'm happy we could support a local composting business-Poplar Manor Enterprises in Floyd County, VA. 
I hung out with participants while waiting for the trucks to come back, and it was a good time to hear more about their gardens and to learn more about them. People helped me harvest in our community hub/food pantry garden, too. 

I went out for all the other deliveries, and it was a great to conduct site visits and deliver compost at the same time. I walked around people's own gardens with them, seeing how every garden varied from the original design. People are doing some really cool things. One participant used to work at a chestnut tree research farm, and used all the old tree tubes to protect her eggplants. She also washes the plants each day with organic insecticidal soap. Her eggplants looked really happy and healthy--hardly any flea beetle damage! 
I was genuinely shocked to see an eggplant without flea beetle holes.

People were really excited to show us their gardens.

I was especially stoked to see these tomatoes as they were scraggly plant orphans randomly dropped off at our  community garden. They are doing so well!

Her garden was one of the neatest I've seen. 
She put an "end cap" on each row--tires filled with straw and potatoes. 
Not the best picture but she had beautiful eggplant as well. This one is blooming. The majority of our participants gave up on their eggplant. We did give out row covers so the body count was significantly reduced, at least.

We also gave each participant enough Serenade for a weekly application throughout the growing season. I made a label for each jar: 
SERENADE: Organic Fungicide
Bacillus subtilis
For Fungal Diseases on Tomatoes
You are introducing a living organism into your garden. Serenade contains living bacteria and fungi that compete with
the organisms in the soil that cause fungal diseases.
To build up the population of this blight-preventing mix of creatures, begin with 1/2 cup to 1 gallon water. Using a garden sprayer, apply all over tomato plants. After the first application, apply every 7-10 days for the growing season, using 1/4 cup to 1 gallon water. Wear gloves and eyewear such as sunglasses, and wash hands after using.
Store in a dry, cool area out of reach of children, and DO NOT DRINK

Well, that's it that's all!

No comments:

Post a Comment