Tag Archives: gardening

The planting season finally begins!

Last night I finally got around to getting some seeds in the ground. After the last big snow melted away, we discovered that the strawberries had already started coming back, and now some raspberries and rhubarb are too. This is getting a start without even trying, but I couldn’t let that make me lazy. After work I got home and went for an hour run, took a shower, and went out to plant me some crops. Just the one side garden, and then this weekend we are going to build two new beds for some different stuff this year.

I planted a bed of carrots – the kaleidoscope blend, which comprises red, white, yellow, orange, and purple – two rows of green onions, and a single row of radishes. The radish packet says I should get seedlings in 4-7 days, which is about the quickest-sprouting crop I have ever planted. And when I was done, my hands were dirty.

You see, I went out there with a trowel and broke up the ground, but it felt clumsy and somehow not quite correct. I decided to toss the tiny spade and go at it by hand. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, but I figured that didn’t really matter. I stuck both hands into the ground and began to work the soil, just as my ancestors did hundreds and thousands of years ago, just as people still do in some parts of the world – and why not? This is a special kind of magic and the most wholesome activity that one can engage in: I’m not out getting in trouble, dragging the strip, getting into bar fights; eating, drinking and killing (thank you Aloha Screwdriver) – I’m hands-deep in the Earth, creating life.

See, I’m not a very religious man, but there is one thing that I feel absolutely confident in saying the church has right – humankind was made in God’s image – in the sense that we are creators all, with the potential to bring order out of chaos and breathe life into it, to turn the mundane into beauty and awe-inspiring wonder. Though we are hard-pressed against the forces of time and nature, we persist and progress; and no matter how long we are on this stage, each of us is absolutely vital to the overall story.

But I digress… This weekend my plans involve building those two new beds, and staking off the section of last year’s potato patch I plan to use for our “three sisters” bed, a scheme traditional to the Mandan Indians involving a triple-pronged symbiosis of corn, beans, and squash. High yields, it’s supposed to be.

What are you planting this year? Leave any comments below!

A possibility of fruit tree(s)

Last year I started gardening. I built a bed box on the side of the house, manually tilled a section for potatoes and broccoli, planted some raspberries, strawberries, onions, bell peppers, and carrots. My wife and I also bought two four-foot manchurian apricot saplings and planted them in the front yard on either side of our walkway. We thought it would be cool to have some fruit trees. They won’t bear fruit for the first few years, but we saw it as an investment in the future.

Then in late summer, I actually discovered that a nearby church/synagogue had mature apricot trees that were dropping fruit on the sidewalk, so I would go over there and harvest them, wash and eat the fruit, and save the pits.

A little research informed me as to the proper method of planting apricots. The pit has to be cracked open and the seed, which looks like an almond and is toxic to eat, has to be planted and sit in the ground through the winter – a process I believe they call “frost conditioning”. I planted about ten seeds in a large pot, in a ring around the inside with a seed planted in the middle. I figured if I got more than one I would have time to recognize them and thin them out into other pots, if they even grew at all. The pot is by the shed, where I can check on it every time I take out or put away my bike or garden tools.

The other day, I found this in the pot:

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I do believe that’s a baby apricot tree. Just the one so far, but so big and sudden! How appropriate, too because my wife and I discussed planting a tree for each member of our small family, and we have yet to plant one for our daughter, who will be a year old in less than a month. Like her, maybe we will be able to grow it from scratch; how wonderfully symbolic is that for the creation and life?