Friday, 9 October 2009
back in the dirt . . . for a moment
Somehow I found myself with time yesterday. It was a wet pleasantly cool day and I took the opportunity to check the pumpkin that's threatening to take over the farm. I had planted 12 seeds back in late July and of the 12, 5 had come up, 2 of which got inadvertently chopped by Sandro on his weed whacking rounds. I was sorely disappointed. However those 3 have done me proud and now I'm out there gingerly lifting the thick hairy vines off the heliconias, and unwrapping tendrils from young citrus. Oh I do love a pumpkin plant.
Still with time on my hands I went to work on our covered raised beds. It was so good to have my hands in the soil again, even if it was full of ants. The smell of the fresh compost and the decaying broccoli that never worked, was just so good. We have such a hard time getting seeds here that we now try everything we can find, just to see what works. At the moment we have a large stack of seed packets from the Asian stores in San Jose - there's not a letter on the packet that I can decipher, so we just try it all. The broccoli didn't work, nor did the one that looks like a radish. The parsley came up and withered after about 3 weeks, the eggplant sprouted and did nothing. What has worked is some variety of bok choy which works well as a salad green, and a flat leafed parsley. We have cherry tomatoes from seed we saved and chili peppers from seed smuggled out of Cuba.
So today I had the pleasant task of pulling up everything that wasn't happening. I say pleasant because so many of the gardening blogs I read are full of fall chores and bemoan the demise of harvests and summer gardens: it was nice to share some of that experience. But I'm not bemoaning because I get to plant again. After pulling the dead and dying I covered the soil with fresh compost, watered a little and left it to settle in - and give the ants an opportunity to disperse. I think we'll plant more of the bok choy and some incredible mustard greens that taste like wasabi. Perhaps tomorrow after the market I'll have another spare moment to get dirty again.