Thursday, May 15, 2008

Living off the fat of the yard


…Food? Pish-tosh, who can afford that anymore? Especially healthy food (and not HA’s beloved Kraft Dinner Recession Favorite, which is palling even for her).

…Fran Sorin, USA Today Weekend (May 9-11, 2008), talks about some forms of organic gardening that do not require you to plow up the back forty.

…First is permaculture gardening. In this, plants, animals, people, buildings and nature work together. You remove the lawn, she says, and plant fruit trees and veggie beds.

…HA would also add shade trees, but then again, HA lives in Arizona, hell’s waiting room. (Her new mesquite tree-let is beginning to recognize her, she is so proud.)

…Sustainable gardening is another approach. This conserves water, no chemicals, and doesn’t pollute.The garden sustains itself, Sorin says. This seems to involve compost and natural fertilizers like kelp. Personally, HA thinks only weeds sustain themselves.

….Biointensive gardening is both Eastern and Western. You grow cover crops, such as alfalfa or oats when the veggies are not growing. Make hexagonal beds, which is said to eliminate weeds.

…Why does that eliminate weeds—or does it make the weeds closer and easier to throttle while screaming the Die Die scream?

…HA is at war with her weedeater. They don’t get along. The weedeater is a demon, is why.

…One epilogue. When HA moved to AZ 12 years ago, she (hope brimming) read a book on organic gardening. It said that compost will eventually become compost, no matter what.

…She recently looked in the composter. Still twigs and sticks in there. Let’s give it another 12.

…Second epilogue. You can eat cactus. Some Mexican neighbors sometimes come over with a card that reads: Can we have cactus? HA has big prickly pears in her front yard (pix). She says yes. Once she tasted the salsa they made…yummo!

...They live off HA's yard. It all works out.

2 comments:

Lily_otv said...

I like coming here Star. You write great things.
I was truly blessed to find my little piece of paradise, tucked into the boreal forest. I am grateful to Anne M., the wonderful woman who first gardened here. The forest is compost in action. Chemicals have never been used here. I have graduated from my small composters to open composting of leaves & garden waste. I still use my composters for kitchen waste.
You do have to turn over the contents from time to time & let some moisture in, preferably rain. I refer to the resulting compost as black gold. I call one of my neighbours the Prince of Garlic. He has the best black gold in town and plants it exclusively with garlic, every November. Most of our soil is quite shallow due to all the rocks. LOL Rocks take much longer to compost.
Spring is just arriving here. The leaves are only just beginning. We catch up pretty quickly, though. In the summer, sundown comes at about 10:30PM.
I have always found that folks who garden are very generous to anyone who expresses an interest. They dig their fork into the ground and immediately pot something up that you admire.
My tiny community of approx. 3,500 has a great Horticultural Society. We take the responsibility for planting all the public space planters in town...Main Street, the Library and Post Office and also at the Hospital.
I am anxious to start posting pics of my garden beauties.
Enjoy Star.
Lily

Star Lawrence said...

I am so jealous of gardens that get cool shadowy areas in the twilight...Compost. Stuff without spikes. Wow, impossible. The desert is soaked in heat by twilight and everyone is slammed into submission. I do have a large--huge--pond...which I venture out to top off or feed the fish in the evening. But don't let anyone tell you water gardening isn't work...some of the coping stones have tumbled in, I fired the guy who used to slip and slide into the water to pull out muck, I worry about my expensive liner getting cracked or punctured constantly, there are too many fish, sometimes I forget to turn off the water, etc. Work!