It is gardening season. Depending upon where you live, people have been planting for weeks. I was late in planting this year. In my mind I saw the garden, visualized the soil preparation, the carrots coming up through the ground one after another. Could almost taste the lettuce. This year I hoped to see the cucumber plants climb up the rope that would be tied to the wire behind it. Perhaps there would be enough hot peppers to dehydrate them. Basil is not familiar to me, but surely it has it purposes and good attributes. Parsley has its placed at the table and in green drinks.
Loosen soil with tiller!
Suddenly, something said, “If you wait too long, you will be staring at a ‘would be’ garden.” I had a week to plot the garden on paper before the gardener took his tiller to the harden ground to loosen up the depleted soil. The idea of using a gas propelled contraption didn’t appeal to me but neither did taking a hoe or a shovel and trying to turn the soil. What the gardener could do in 30 minutes might take hours to do by hand. And indeed it only took him about 30 minutes.
Buy Seeds. Cheaper and Better For Plants!
The next step was to find organic plants. Yes there are plenty of plants including organically grown plants. Farmers markets sold plants. I was off to buy organic eggs and vegetables at a market. Someone would be able to make a suggestion. Sure enough, the first vendor at the market had a suggestion. “Buy seeds. It is cheaper and less stressful for the plants than buying them in containers and replanting them in the ground.” That made sense. Imagine what plants might have to say. They are raised in a small pot, removed from their “original home” and then plopped into the earth. Then, they must share space with other plants, all with their own interests, DNA, etc. No surprise that it might be literally easier and more pleasant to naturally spring up from the ground!
Several farmers at two of my favorite markets don’t bother with small containers and transplanting. ” I just throw the seeds into the ground.” (People living in climates with short growing seasons may not have the same options. I have seen Oregonians have elaborate systems in their homes to grow plants during the end of the cold and rainy winter season, waiting for warm days.)
Recommendation from “egg and chicken man”
Ok ok. I got the message. So with the recommendation of the “egg and chicken man”, I called a company called Johnny Seeds, and ordered organic seed packets for outdoor planting and for sprouting seeds indoors in quart jars. The seeds would arrive in a week.
manure needed-organic please
There was one final step. I needed organic manure to mix in with the soil. Now, there are lots of places to get soil. My preference is always to support small locally owned businesses. There is one that is less than a ten minute car ride. Sure enough, the business had lots to choose from. “Organic” I told her, and she had an employee put four large bags of manure into the back seat of the car. Wow, I thought to myself. Let’s get home. The smell of manure almost overpowered me. I couldn’t get the bags out of the car and into the “future” garden quick enough. Out came one heavy bag that was quickly opened with a gardening tool and spread on the ground. Now the second bag was about to be taken from the bag seat of the car. As I carried it out from the car, a strange inexplicable feeling came over me. Something wasn’t quite right. I went over to the empty plastic bag and read the label. It said manure, but missing was the word “organic.” Oh no, I have three more bags. What do I do? Do I forget about the organic and live with “the other?” Do I drive back to the nursery? I called the nursery. The owner apologized for her mistake. They didn’t have organic manure. If I brought the bags back, she would refund me. I didn’t really want to go back, but I wanted the organic manure.
Back to the nursery
I put back the one bag that I had taken out of the car, and drove back to the nursery. I just knew that there was something there for me. I had been told “no” so why was I so sure? The owner had her employee remove the three bags. “You have something here that I can use” I told her. We walked over the bags of manure and potting soil. The owner spotted a whole pallet of organic chicken manure. “This should work” she said and went over to consult with her uncle, who was married to her aunt, a gardening guru. She wasn’t gone but a couple of minutes and came back smiling. Yes, he confirmed that the chicken manure would work.
I was right. Ask me how I knew? Haven’t a clue.