Comments on: Getting Dirty http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Fri, 16 Oct 2009 21:30:59 -0700 #?v=2.8.4 hourly 1 By: Bill http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-19034 Bill Thu, 09 Apr 2009 15:09:35 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-19034 We live in the mountains of central California, but some nights it still freezes the horse's water, and neither of my thumbs are green, so I'm reluctant to start even a small garden. Actually, I just feel "stuck" between planning and doing, which I know would bring enough trial-and-error experience to make at least one of my thumbs green, but whenever I try to think my way out of this trap, I tell myself I can't really produce enough food to feed us in hard times anyway. For all the potatoes and onions and carrots I might grow, I can still buy them at the local grocery store for about half the cost and one hundreth the effort. We own a little more than an acre, most of it is a corral for the horse and very little gets more than 4 hours of sunshine. Another problem is the number of cloudy, foggy days. We've talked about building cold frames or a green house, but the code restrictions here might make that more expensive than it's worth. Sharon (my wife) and I are both on social security, so we're not in a financial position to make too many mistakes. But Sharon's article and the replies to it are encouraging. I've just got to give it a go, I guess, and see what happens. Thanks... We live in the mountains of central California, but some nights it still freezes the horse’s water, and neither of my thumbs are green, so I’m reluctant to start even a small garden.

Actually, I just feel “stuck” between planning and doing, which I know would bring enough trial-and-error experience to make at least one of my thumbs green, but whenever I try to think my way out of this trap, I tell myself I can’t really produce enough food to feed us in hard times anyway. For all the potatoes and onions and carrots I might grow, I can still buy them at the local grocery store for about half the cost and one hundreth the effort.

We own a little more than an acre, most of it is a corral for the horse and very little gets more than 4 hours of sunshine.

Another problem is the number of cloudy, foggy days. We’ve talked about building cold frames or a green house, but the code restrictions here might make that more expensive than it’s worth. Sharon (my wife) and I are both on social security, so we’re not in a financial position to make too many mistakes.

But Sharon’s article and the replies to it are encouraging. I’ve just got to give it a go, I guess, and see what happens. Thanks…

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By: homebrewlibrarian http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17918 homebrewlibrarian Sat, 28 Feb 2009 08:16:38 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17918 Well, it's going to be a couple months if I'm lucky before I can play in the dirt. I'm hoping to plant peas in early April but that's a dicey time in Anchorage. Looking at my garden journal from last year shows me that we had two snow dumps in early April. Well, if the soil thaws out, the peas go in. We'll see how they do. In the meantime, I have a host of tomato, pepper and onion starts. Sure, I'm having to rely on artificial light and seed starting heat mats but I want transplant ready and hardy plants by mid May. By golly! For me it isn't so much a hesitation between planning and doing, it's that I've been ready for the doing part since the season ended last October! Kerri in AK Well, it’s going to be a couple months if I’m lucky before I can play in the dirt. I’m hoping to plant peas in early April but that’s a dicey time in Anchorage. Looking at my garden journal from last year shows me that we had two snow dumps in early April. Well, if the soil thaws out, the peas go in. We’ll see how they do.

In the meantime, I have a host of tomato, pepper and onion starts. Sure, I’m having to rely on artificial light and seed starting heat mats but I want transplant ready and hardy plants by mid May. By golly!

For me it isn’t so much a hesitation between planning and doing, it’s that I’ve been ready for the doing part since the season ended last October!

Kerri in AK

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By: Greenpa http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17913 Greenpa Fri, 27 Feb 2009 23:24:03 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17913 Dee- holy smokes; our frost free date here is June 1. No kidding. Seems unfair. Just noticed your comment on dormant spray- you might want to take a peek at my diatribe here- #2008/05/water-is-back.html Going totally sprayless is not something most are willing to try- but the restaurants we sell to like it fine. Dee- holy smokes; our frost free date here is June 1. No kidding. Seems unfair.

Just noticed your comment on dormant spray- you might want to take a peek at my diatribe here-

#2008/05/water-is-back.html

Going totally sprayless is not something most are willing to try- but the restaurants we sell to like it fine.

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By: DEE http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17912 DEE Fri, 27 Feb 2009 22:55:38 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17912 Got down and dirty all week....greenhouse up (108 in there Wed.pant pant) and planted with 18 kinds of tomatoes, 7 kinds of peppers, onions,cabbage,broccoli,leeks,beets,petunias, and so on and so on....of course it is supposed to snow this weekend so the heaters are in place..but here in so. MO it is now 8 weeks until our last frost date! Yipee. It has been an unusually windy winter with few chances to burn so have huge orchard trimming piles to take care of, dormant spraying to do. Got the bees checked and all have plenty of food left. Ordered my chicks at the feed store...great 'cause you can order 8-10 instead of the required 25. Feed is way high here even with supplementing with cooked wheat and veggie scraps. DH says he can tell when spring comes 'cause I cut my fingernails short!...and how I'm in such a better humour when I can be outside digging! DEE Got down and dirty all week….greenhouse up (108 in there Wed.pant pant) and planted with 18 kinds of tomatoes, 7 kinds of peppers,
onions,cabbage,broccoli,leeks,beets,petunias, and so on and so on….of course it is supposed to snow this weekend so the heaters are in place..but here in so. MO it is now 8 weeks until our last frost date! Yipee.

It has been an unusually windy winter with few chances to burn so have huge orchard trimming piles to take care of, dormant spraying to do. Got the bees checked and all have plenty of food left. Ordered my chicks at the feed store…great ’cause you can order 8-10 instead of the required 25. Feed is way high here even with supplementing with cooked wheat and veggie scraps.
DH says he can tell when spring comes ’cause I cut my fingernails short!…and how I’m in such a better humour when I can be outside digging! DEE

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By: Susan http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17908 Susan Fri, 27 Feb 2009 21:28:28 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17908 Yep. I spent Tuesday out in the dirt; I moved one of my 4 x 4 beds and sunk it into the earth which entailed: 1. shoveling out all the soil in the box (I have worms! Yay!) 2. pulling the box out from its poorly placed position (and breaking one of my sun shade supports in the process) 3. getting a pick ax and breaking up the sod to about 6 inches below grade 4. shoveling all the dirt out of the sunken area 5. moving the box into its new position 6. moving it again, picking and digging more 7. fixing the support 8. moving it back 9. shoveling all the soil back into the box 10. shoveling the sod around the sides of the box to maintain moisture and keep out some of the heat 11. add more manure, soil, and compost to the soil. This took about 4 hours total, and I also prepped two of my other beds for planting...four more to go. Yep. Definitely grows peace and joy. I love Langston Hughes' poetry! Yep. I spent Tuesday out in the dirt; I moved one of my 4 x 4 beds and sunk it into the earth which entailed: 1. shoveling out all the soil in the box (I have worms! Yay!) 2. pulling the box out from its poorly placed position (and breaking one of my sun shade supports in the process) 3. getting a pick ax and breaking up the sod to about 6 inches below grade 4. shoveling all the dirt out of the sunken area 5. moving the box into its new position 6. moving it again, picking and digging more 7. fixing the support 8. moving it back 9. shoveling all the soil back into the box 10. shoveling the sod around the sides of the box to maintain moisture and keep out some of the heat 11. add more manure, soil, and compost to the soil.

This took about 4 hours total, and I also prepped two of my other beds for planting…four more to go.

Yep. Definitely grows peace and joy.

I love Langston Hughes’ poetry!

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By: Laurie in MN http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17907 Laurie in MN Fri, 27 Feb 2009 20:53:13 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17907 P.S. I *wish* it seemed like spring is finally on its' way. We got slapped up with a lovely winter storm yesterday, and while that's actually not far off of normal for this time of year, the 4 - 7 inches it dumped is....well, it's a lot of white. And I know other places in the state got it worse. I'm really looking forward to being ABLE to dig in the dirt! P.S. I *wish* it seemed like spring is finally on its’ way. We got slapped up with a lovely winter storm yesterday, and while that’s actually not far off of normal for this time of year, the 4 – 7 inches it dumped is….well, it’s a lot of white. And I know other places in the state got it worse.

I’m really looking forward to being ABLE to dig in the dirt!

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By: Laurie in MN http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17906 Laurie in MN Fri, 27 Feb 2009 20:51:24 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17906 I keep trying to tell my Darling Husband (and convince myself *grin*) that at some point you have to stop planning and just do the thing. All the planning in the world is not going to make a garden foolproof, although a little basic research goes a long way. And the Plant Police will neither come by and inspect your garden for neatness nor cite you if you decide that particular plant just ain't working out where you put it and you decide to move it. That's a tough lesson to learn given our collective basic natures. At least he's on board with front lawn removal. I need to do more daylight studies, though, to see where I can slip veggies and edible greenery in amongst the ornamentals. (S. Mpls., MN lot. Not very big, and rather shaded except for the south side yard, which is very narrow. Grows some decent tomatoes and some herbs, just not many of them.) I keep trying to tell my Darling Husband (and convince myself *grin*) that at some point you have to stop planning and just do the thing. All the planning in the world is not going to make a garden foolproof, although a little basic research goes a long way. And the Plant Police will neither come by and inspect your garden for neatness nor cite you if you decide that particular plant just ain’t working out where you put it and you decide to move it. That’s a tough lesson to learn given our collective basic natures.

At least he’s on board with front lawn removal. I need to do more daylight studies, though, to see where I can slip veggies and edible greenery in amongst the ornamentals. (S. Mpls., MN lot. Not very big, and rather shaded except for the south side yard, which is very narrow. Grows some decent tomatoes and some herbs, just not many of them.)

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By: Fern http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17903 Fern Fri, 27 Feb 2009 17:49:26 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17903 I just moved sprouting parsley, spinach, and lettuces into the cold frame - it's in the 60's today. We may get snow on Sunday, of course, but they'll be okay. Tomorrow I could plant the turnips, too. And maybe onions next week! Fern I just moved sprouting parsley, spinach, and lettuces into the cold frame – it’s in the 60’s today. We may get snow on Sunday, of course, but they’ll be okay. Tomorrow I could plant the turnips, too. And maybe onions next week!

Fern

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By: Green Assassin Brigade http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17902 Green Assassin Brigade Fri, 27 Feb 2009 17:09:55 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17902 I keep checking the seed packages and the calendar with the sad knowledge that its still 8 weeks till last frost, I keep reminding myself I don't need any 2 ft tall leggy tomatoes flowering in my basement this year. I keep checking the seed packages and the calendar with the sad knowledge that its still 8 weeks till last frost, I keep reminding myself I don’t need any 2 ft tall leggy tomatoes flowering in my basement this year.

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By: Mark N http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/comment-page-1/#comment-17897 Mark N Fri, 27 Feb 2009 12:50:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/02/26/getting-dirty/#comment-17897 Wouldn't mind getting my hands dirty. Still-frozen ground is all there is here. Its ice-fishing and wood-cutting season for now. I did start some seeds and have leeks, basil, eggplant, and peppers up. Have seen many male eastern bluebirds lately (mostly where there is sumac bushes) and of course robins, which is very encouraging. Wouldn’t mind getting my hands dirty. Still-frozen ground is all there is here. Its ice-fishing and wood-cutting season for now. I did start some seeds and have leeks, basil, eggplant, and peppers up. Have seen many male eastern bluebirds lately (mostly where there is sumac bushes) and of course robins, which is very encouraging.

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