Sunday, March 14, 2010


I finally realized that although I would rather be in the garden than looking at this stupid computer, there is a need for record keeping. And I tried the little spiral bound book style. And it sucked.


Fall 07: begin habitation. soil test. sheet mulch approx two rows.

- lesson: don't try to plant in unfinished soil (because nothing grows)

spring 08: rototil and heavily amend mulched area, add a row

-lessons: people grow in rows for a reason; don't grow too many tomatoes; peppers that touch the soil rot before they're ripe

winter 09:

lessons: MUD; sprouting broccoli (at the least the kind i got from Territorial) grows giant and then dies in the first weenie frost. not so kale, lettuce, spinach. spacing, spacing, spacing: not enough; too much.

early spring 09: cloche up; peas, favas, spinach, radishes, winter mix, spring onion Feb 20 in cloche in center row (#2) - first attempt at peas:radishes:lettuce:radishes:peas (whatever that's called); worked pretty well; peas shaded out lettuce eventually but that's mostly because i am a pussy when it comes to harvesting; only the onions mystified me - they never made much of themselves but i think they're still out there trying (! i think maybe peas are bad for onions ?); first salad harvest March 6 for Cynthia's b-day: miner's, mache, spinach: so proud. and the garlic! effortless! and the shallots! who knew?!

lessons: cloche rocks. miner's lettuce rocks. corn salad ditto. escarole double ditto. did i mention garlic and shallots.

also the whole starts in the basement with flourescent lights set-up happened at this time. toms, basil, peppers started feb ? toms up to bigger pots March 18; start lettuce and cabbage inside, lettuce outside.

lessons: lettuce starts rock. i didn't even know i could grow heading lettuce. the inside of a solid head of lettuce is like cotton candy. what are all those goombahs with the tiny leaf mixes doing? fava beans are so beautiful but definitely a calorie loss.

summer 09: row #1: wall of tomatoes (more san marzanos? earlier?) that all fell down and rotted because of that dumb biodegradable twine but i still canned! some of our own! sauce! tomatoes, one poor cucumber (more cucumbers!), volunteer winter squash crowding everything like crazy and making the twine break, some sorry peppers (though i dried a bunch of little hot ones), some bolted-ass basil. row#2: favas, peas (be still my heart how zelda felt about those peas; more peas!), various and sundry small greens and such underfoot. row #3: garlic, shallots, giant cabbages, bush beans we had to pull out before they were done, nasturtiums (more nasturtiums!)

and then there was that whole other garden called southside: corn, squash (less squash!), beans (plant sequentially, fool!), volunteer winter squash (kabocha and delicata)

and then there was this:

lessons: don't start your basil too early, you won't even know what to do with it and then you will hate it and let it get giant and it will bolt. peppers that touch the ground will rot before they're ripe. just generally putting potatoes in the ground anywhere is not a good technique. cabbages make an unbelievable amount of food. automatic, overhead watering is where it's at. still, leaving in the middle of the summer is a mistake. the beans that you plant at once all come ripe at once. everything they say about zucchinis doubling overnight is true. the whole volunteers from the worm bin thing. grow what you can harvest. be ruthless. you can try again next year. there is lead in our dirt.

fall 09: building boxes, even though we swore against it, to raise dirt level above contamination because we are growing a brain here after all. one whole row dedicated to cloche greens and leeks #3, one to exposed brassicas #2, tomato row (#1) mulched with straw from chicken area (which now i think was not such a good idea). razed southside garden. stuck some garlic, shallots, lots of daffodils all around under the trees. we'll see how that works out.

lessons: put flowers everywhere, they make you so happy and the lettuces like them.

lessons cont: i do not know what to say about these potatoes.

lessons cont: learning how and when to interplant, getting better at thinning for eating, liking the look of it better all the time, but man is my (developing) style inefficient (long on puttering hours of harvesting). chard = amazing. mustards must be the fastest food you can grow not in the summer.

winter 09 and spring 10 together because time feels like it is moving quickly and i am sick of typing this:

row #2 (planted mid-august): did well considering late planting date. ate lots of chard - which was there since spring - until it bit the dust in december (should have cut it all), ate kale, collards, but hestitant harvesting because of appearance and how much does it need to grow well in spring? anyway, it all did. also sorrel in row #2 and under cloche in row 3.

row #3: so much f-ing parsley. i said i was going to do it and i did. all the greens i have seeds for pretty much. continual harvest, though only for special occasions during dec-jan. hopefully i will always remember that i spent winter solstice (between parties) harvesting salad for big dinner at P & H. pretty much completely awesome. already can't remember what else i put in the salad. think it was january when we (me and babies) harvested the brussels for dinner with same cats. i bet they made something awesome. so sad that i can't recall at all.

and then spring came early even for here, and everything grew.

row #1: attempted (extremely detailed, to be transcribed when i have a lot of laundry to fold) pea planting scheme starting feb 20; no evidence 14 days later; dug up some of the rows and replanted march 6. still no sign from 2.20 planting or 3.2. i think it's the damn mulch that i couldn't remove all the way because it is all broken down. see: lessons, fall 08. on 3.8 (i think) i put left-over fava seeds and a row of Dwarf Grey in row #2 where the rotting chard stumps were. so sad about the peas. maybe give up on row 1 for a while. sigh.

row #2: everything bolting, ecstatic, lush. though not grown enough to get good raabe. but so many leaves! went to groc. yesterday and bought only meat and grapefruit. last week made lentil-sorrel soup from d. madison. personal triumph. but what am i going to do in there? cut it all and plant peas?

row #3: crazy overgrown mess gradually being thinned into the perpetual salad bag in fridge. better hurry up. is this where the tomatoes are supposed to go? tomatoes and herbs? or break up the tomatoes? put some in the pots where the potatoes are supposed to go? stupid tomatoes. leeks still finger thin; pull em and eat em? or wait?

oh and then the starts. but that's not history, that's the present. thank god.

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