This week Mother Nature sent me a sea of pink blossoms in aneffort to get me off my butt and start writing again. The popping peach blossoms down in my front grove are a reminder that it’s time to unlimber andsharpen my hoe and shovel and begin gardening.
As daytime temps move into the Seventies here in northern San Diego county, my depression is lifting in direct proportion to the growing number of nursery catalogs that arrive every day in the mail. Seed catalogues are my wish books.
I gaze at the artfully photographed giant heirloom tomatoes, succulent melons, leafy vegetables and begin planning my yearly gardens. This year I’m going to focus on basics; 2 types of potatoes, sweet onions, 3 rows of tomatoes,and the 3 artichokes left over from last year. And all this is in addition to
giant crimson radishes, daikon (for my home made Pho recipe), three artichokes,and at least two rows of lettuce plus cabbage and yellow corn.
Gardening is a process I enjoy much of the year. But before I put my seedlings into the ground, I have lot of work and many burrowing mammalian rodents to to vanquish. After all, what fun is gardening without my yearly war against gophers, hated voles and legions of neighborhood rats and squirrels?
I’ve prepared for my annual battle against garden vandals with a run to the local sporting goods store where I purchased two boxes of .22 Conical Ball (CB) shorts, and a stop at the local lumber yard where I priced - 8-foot lengths of railroad ties, and two 50-foot rolls of fine metallic fine
mesh. After a numerous raids on my garden by burrowing rodents last year, I’vedecided to build raised garden beds and fiendishly watch the burrowing rodents starve.
So, I totaled my secret stash birthday and holiday gift cardsa nd realized my raised beds will cost nothing. Zero dollars. Nosw, I’m about to begin building my raised beds plus select and arrange delivery of a half dump truck of most excellent garden soil.
The really good news is: Escondido is still an agriculture community town,and obtaining good garden soil is a very simple and inexpensive.
Well actually, I may have to buy a cordless reciprocating or
band saw. But the joy of owning a cordless band saw can’t be adequately
expressed merely by its cost. Also, I’m sure I can use it for other projects,
like fabricating my very own sterling engine out of soft drink cans and a
one-gallon paint lid or cutting copper pipe.
Back to gardening: I actually have two gardens, the smallest
of which is located below the pad my house sits on. The smaller garden is where
I experiment. For example, I grow up to 20 tobacco plants in the “other” garden
as well as a variety of chilies. Because
the soil in my lower garden is very loose, I’m growing peanuts in it 2013. My
first peanut crop was last year. Seven bushes in planters yielded about nine
pounds of goober peas, to the considerable gastronomic delight of the local scrub
jay air force.
The one thing I’m going to focus on this year is successfully growing water melons.TO most gardeners this seems like a simple task. For me it’s not, and I’ve gone to great lengths to condition my alkaloid soil, and accidentally producing exactly one scrumptious rattlesnake melon. My failure with this garden staple is shameful.Thihis year I may get it right.
I enjoy the process of gardening a lot. It forces me to use my stroke damaged left hand, (I remain left hand dominant despite the stroke) and gets me out in the sun in short pants and homemade tie dyed shirts, terraforming my little agricultural kingdom.
Wow, it’s been two months since I’ve felt like I can write. And all it took were peach blossoms popping in the seventy degree sunshine of sunny San Diego day. Jim Forbes on 02/17/2013.