Saturday, June 6, 2009

As organic as it gets

Those commercial farmers that spray pesticides never have to see the enemy in the eye like I did today. For the second time, bugs have attacked one of my tomato plants. Again, they went for one of the weaker plants. Last time, I sprayed some pepper wax spray that worked. This time however, I, with blood-shot eye and with rage in my heart, crushed the spider mites and the aphids and the ants with my bare hands; and the last thing those poor creatures heard was me muttering something about sending them to the deepest hole in hell.
Yep, it doesn't get any more organic than that.

But enough about violent gardening acts and on to some pretties:

Behold this beauty. Until today, I was claiming that this was the Amateur's Dream plant. However, this plant is not growing like an indeterminate tomato but rather it is behaving more like a determinate; in which case, I may have put the wrong label on it. This one could be the Market Miracle plant. At any rate, it has been my best tomato plant this season.

And here is the lone Jet Star tomato. The Jet Star plant is growing on the Topsey Turvy hanging planter. I sure hope this plant produces more fruit so that this tomato doesn't cost me $30 dollars! This tomato is now 1 month old. I thought for sure it would have ripened by now.

These are tomatoes from the Urbikany plant. All my Siberian tomatoes are doing well. Next season I hope to plant more of them.

This is the Perestroika tomato:

Last but not least is my Anaheim pepper (only one so far):

I finally dug all the volunteer tomato plants growing in the melon bed. It was a tough decision but the melons are now getting plenty of sun and they don't have to fight for the moisture. I also dug up all the carrots. I had to concede that they did not have enough depth to grow properly. Still, they are delicious at 3 inches long.
I have lost hope for my garlic and onions. Some of the onions went to bloom already and my garlic looks weak.
My black beans look sad as well as do my peas. My green beans however, are doing really well.
I have about twenty strawberries in two plants and my blackberry bush has lots of blackberries.
Now if I could only get some decent rain!

Over and out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


We finally got a little bit of rain yesterday and today the sky looks promising for some more of the wet stuff.

It's been in the high 80's to mid 90's around here with full sun for a couple of weeks and now my lettuce has bolted and some of my onions are blooming.

And while in the subject of rain, the people in Colorado are apparently reconsidering their ban on collecting rain water. What!? (you may exclaim). Yep,
it is considered stealing in Colorado, what, with all the water politics out West.
Our own rain barrel maker here in Wichita keeps making it in the news because rain water collecting is taking off like a rocket along with gardening and raising your own food.

Now, I called one of the local soda pop bottlers in town to ask if I could get a couple of 55 gallon drums where the soda syrup comes in and I was informed by a very friendly lady there that the State of Kansas is collecting the drums for a state-wide rain barrel project. Mmmmm... I immediately went to the State's web site but all my search efforts turned nothing about this. I guess I'll just have to wait.

Over and out.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Don't know when to shut up

Community garden. A shared space where a group of people decide to grow plants together. As a group, they decide what to grow and how to grow it and then everybody works toward making it happen. There are no individual plots in this scenario. I've have seen this work, season after season, successfully in a community garden here in Wichita.

Garden Club: For lack of a better description, I call this a garden club. This is a large(ish) piece of land, owned or leased by an organization whereas a person can rent a plot to grow whatever his/her heart desires. Generally there are some rules about what to grow (no marijuana, for example) but mostly, the renter of the plot can do as he/she pleases.

In recent discussions in the blogosphere, these two seem to have gotten mixed up. Someone in another blog suggested that in the good ol' US of A we don't know what a Community Garden really is. The problem is that in the US we call Garden Clubs Community Gardens. Because of this confusion, folks were all up in arms about the idea that someone would tell them what to grow.
In a true Community Garden, there are no individual plots.
Now in England, and maybe Australia, people get Allotments. I don't know that we use that term here but we should.
This would eliminate the confusion.
Like I said. Here in Wichita, I know of one Community Garden that is truly a community garden worked by people in the neighborhood. I drive by it and it seems to work fine.
Then, we have at least one Garden Club where one can rent a plot. It's not really a Community Garden but rather people who gather together to do what they love which is to grow stuff.
I would love to belong to a Garden Club and have my own plot and in fact I may do just that soon, if there are any plots open. I have a big yard but the plot in the Garden Club would be away from curious dogs and children and unencumbered by tall mature trees that shade everything.
I would also LOVE to belong to a Community Garden where I could work shoulder to shoulder with other like-minded people to bring in a harvest that we could all share.
When it comes to these two gardening options, I see them as offering different benefits. In one, I can grow my stuff in my lot and not ever have to interact with another human being (after I pay my dues that is) in the other, I am forced to talk and cooperate with other people.

Over and out.