Much ado about Gardening

I learned much this weekend about gardening…

Having grown up on a back-to-the-lander style homestead, most of my childhood was spend in and around the garden, gleaning left overs from the farmers fields and poaching apples from the defunct apple orchards in the U.P.  Watched my Mom can and freeze enough food to feed an army, and tailed my Dad as he torched the plot each fall to clean it out for the next spring’s planting.  Now, being around that much garden activity, you would think I’d be a shoe-in for garden knowledge.  Well, I’m not.  But I have an infinite amount of interest and desire, and spend a lot of time browsing books and Web sites for info.

When I had to leave Montana to head back to the Chicago burbs several years ago, I was lucky enough to live in a house where the landlord didn’t care if I planted a garden.  Boy, did I plant.  Tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, chives, broccoli, peppers, lettuce, sunflowers.  All the yummy stuff.  And for the most part it did great!  The only crop I had that didn’t grow was the corn.  Not sure why.  I’ll give it a try again some other time.

I spent this weekend up at LLM’s house.  He must think I’m nuts for deriving so much joy at working on his property.  He tilled up a couple patches, we de-stoned, raked and weeded, then began planting again.  I don’t think anything’s gone in that garden this year that hasn’t had my help – and I love that!  Even though it’s not my garden, I’m having a blast planting in it. We planted about 160 onion plants, another 80-90 potato starts, lettuce, spinach, mesculin, and a retarded number of radish seeds.  He showed me the asparagus shoots starting to poke through that we planted a few weeks back, and all the strawberry plants are looking super healthy and have new leaf sprouts on them.  Yay!  I had never planted potatoes before, and it was a really easy process.  Who knew?  I should easily be able to plant some in my container garden.  I have to get that box built.

So I’m still on the hunt for the perfect plot of land with a little house to call home.  I may take a look at a couple of places up in Alberton.  One’s only on a quarter acre, but the good part is that it’s at the end of a road, has a couple of outbuildings, and is already fenced for a dog.  Perfect!  The price is higher than I want to spend, but it’s been on the market for a while, and I can probably offer them quite a bit less and see what happens.  I honestly don’t want to pay more than $125k for a place.  Much less if possible.  I just have to be patient and know the right place will come along when the time is right…  Until then, I can live vicariously through LLM’s garden!  🙂

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