Saturday, April 23, 2011

Living Fence and Other Things

Has anyone noticed my absence from blogville?  The thought crossed my mind that I've had nothing interesting to blog about, and then I thought, how arrogant!  Meaning -- my 400-some blogs in the last year and a half have been interesting and suddenly they aren't?  Put the blame on blogger ambivalence.  I write this blog for myself.  It's a handy reference for the future when I can't find my journals.  On the other hand, I'd like to think hundreds or thousands of readers find value in these postings.  If only a few readers check it out, well, maybe it's time to do what the local library does -- toss the book. 

"That's garbage," says Virginia and she's right, except for the fact that what you feel is true even if it's not logical.

I mentioned being ill earlier in the week.  I'm not often sick, although if you've been reading this blog since I attempted the Hellgate 100K in December you might question that statement.  This time I was clearly, objectively ill, with a fever to prove it, and recovery wasn't a 2-day trick like getting over the flu often is.  Maybe that's why I haven't been blogging.  Who cares?

Gardeners might.  Perhaps the biggest trick to gardening is doing something every day, even if it's a little something.  Generally, every morning I survey the night's developments, carrying my cup of apple cider vinegar/honey tea.  This past week, I passed on big things until Thursday.  I transplanted some seedlings into larger pots.  I carried a trowel and a bag of sunflower seeds around the yard and buried a seed here and there, randomly, so later in the summer big round sunflower heads will smile at me from unexpected places.  I stuck in another row of beets. 

On Thursday I planted a living fence, something I read about last fall in Mother Earth News, a technique that was common before posts and wire or milled wooden fences.  In October, I had gathered osage oranges from the woods near the law school, brought them home, and put them in a 5-gallon bucket of water in my smaller greenhouse.  All winter long they froze and thawed, gradually turning into a stinky black slurry.  Thursday I topped off the bucket with water and noticed a few oranges that still looked fresh and green.  Not so.  Several jabs and stirring with a spade sliced them into bits and pieces.  I dug trenches along two sides of my field garden, about a foot deep and a foot wide, and dribbled the osage orange liquid into the trenches.  I put some of the earth back in the trenches so they were about 1/3 full.  Now I wait for fall, when I hope to bend over many young trees and cover them, not all the way, with the rest of the soil.  Next spring, I hope to find "lateral" branches pointing up vertically all along the trenches, and the next fall I'll weave those branches together about 2 feet off the ground.  In a few years I'll have a fence.

Today I tackled another fairly big gardening job -- a slightly raised bed on the South side of the big greenhouse.  The bed has two main purposes: (1) to close up the underside of the greenhouse so air won't pass through so readily next winter; and (2) to give me more planting space for flowers, artichokes, tomatoes, and more (more, more, always more).  For the sides of the bed I'm using locust fenceposts Bob and Geri donated last year, thanks guys. 

Cycle, recycle.

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