My next climber (no, not Matilda) is green beans. More creative in my seed purchasing this year as well, I bought the Fortex Green Beans which claim to be long, slender, and stringless. I can't wait to see/eat them! Ghttp://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-6614-fortex.aspx Make no mistake that although I like creative shapes and colors, my veggies are ALL chosen for taste as well! Like my dad, I used to plant my green beans in either side of a low row wire trellis. This was sufficient, but I'm curious about the teepee method for space considerations. I built a teepee out of three bamboo poles and planted 8-10 seeds around each pole. I placed the poles in two different beds so the climbing will use the least amount of space as possible. If all goes well, Matilda will LOVE the resulting tunnel even more than she likes it now!
My name is Cherie and I live in Southern Maine with my husband and two young children. I have a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and still have about 10k in remaining student loans to prove it. I left the field of practice three years ago, so this is not the place to be posting any suicide notes, okay? But if you want to hear about my garden and my gremlins, my pests and my problems, well then you just sit right down and read on!
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
There is this really cool project called Plant-A-Row For The Hungry http://extension.umaine.edu/gardening/programs/plant-a-row/ that urges home and commercial gardeners to plant a separate row of veggies to be donated to your local foodbank. I really like this concept because my past food drive donations tend to include things like canned soup and macaroni and cheese, things that are non-perishable and unfortunately not terribly healthy.
My contributions so far have been a week of watering & weeding and the donation of several of my seedlings including tomatoes, cucumbers, husk cherry, patty pan squash, basil, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. I'm pretty excited to watch the harvest grow and be delivered to our local pantry. Though our community has a well-earned reputation of being pretty wealthy, there are segments that are definitely in need. I personally am of the sound belief that it is shameful that ANYONE is hungry is the United States of America. Absolutely shameful.
Having worked in social services for many years, I have witnessed far too much poverty, poor health, and hunger up close and personal. In fact, my parents and grandparents experienced poverty and relied upon the good will of others on occasion. My son's world is far from that reality and I have struggled with how to introduce him to poverty without completely overwhelming and shocking him. I have concluded that the Plant A Row program is the way to do it. One of my many hopes for him is that he becomes a charitable and compassionate member of society.
So this afternoon I dragged Oscar along to the PAR planting day. On the car ride I reminded him of our conversations about how some people have don't have enough food to eat. The first time I told his the laughed at me, thinking I was putting him on. We talked about how healthy foods are typically more expensive than unhealthy foods. And we talked about the importance of doing what we can to enable as many people as possible have healthy and sufficient food. It is a lot to process for a child who is fortunate enough to have enerything he needs, but he was very thoughtful and considerate with his observations and questions. Yay! That's my boy!
Arriving at the Gardens, the organizers were busy building a teepee for pole beans. Oscar and I carried our gift of seedlings and we looked over the sketch to deterine the location or babies would call home. Not long into our planting adventure, the skies opened up and drizzle turned pretty quickly into rain. Hearty and optimistic at first, we soon succumbed to the drenching rain and post-poned the planting.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Marigold - Durango Outback Mix
Angel's Trumpet Datura - double yellow
16-20" height, spacing 2-3'
24" height, full sun, 4" apart, horizontal support
Amaranth: Strawberry Fields
24" height, 6-8" spacing, full sun
Serenade Mix - China Aster
25-34" height, 6-12" spacing, full sun, support
Cramers' burgundy Celosia
30-36" height, 6-12" spacing, full sun, horizontal netting advised, no fertilizer
Pampas Plume Celosia
33-48" height, 6-12" spacing, netting, no fertilizer
Giant Dahlias: 40-50", 9-12" apart, full sun, no support, do not disturb roots
Ornamental Grass: Love Grass
Cardinal Climber - 72-120"
President Tyler - 72-96"
Hyacinth Bean - Ruby Moon
10-20', full sun, 12" spacing, trellis/support
Cosmos: Sea Shells
40-48" height, 9-12" spacing,
Hopefully I'll have plenty of flower pics over the next few weeks!!! If I don't spend too much time at the ocean, that is....
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Take for example my home. It has not been dusted, vacuumed, cleaned in... well... I'm too embarrassed to try and figure out how long. A new friend is coming to visit next week and I HAVE to get this place into ship-shape before then. There is germination soil on the windowsill, dustbunnies procreating in every corner, and mysterious odors coming from the refrigerator. I did clean the toilets yesterday, but that just scratches the surface. A WHOLE lot more work needs to be done.
Then there is my health. Staying up so many late nights with my seedlings interfered with time that I should have been sleeping. For me, not getting enough sleep sets off a whole domino effect of other problems like not exercising. I also haven't been meal planning well, which for me is a "recipe" for potato chips and pasta. Not so good at all. So before today's trip to the grocery store, I am actually MENU PLANNING so that I purchase foods that are healthy, incorporate food preparation into my schedule, don't purchase more food than is necessary, and actually eat well. Still recovering from surgery, I can't do much more than walking for exercise. That's needs to go into my health schedule as well.
Being an extravert, I have accumulated some very lovely friends over the years. However I owe so many phone calls and emails it's kind of bumming me out. I have been assured by wiser mothers than myself that your social life does come back as your children get older. But they tend to follow that comment with, "But don't wish it away!" Okay, okay. I don't want them to grow so fast, but I WOULD like to stay in contact with people who are important to me. I did catch up with a few last weekend while also engaging in some family fun. Read on.
Yes, you read correctly. We went camping over MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND - a sacred time for gardeners! Ideally this would have been a major planting weekend, but the camping trip won out. Fortunately the good weather this spring had allowed me to plant many things early, so most of that work has already been done. And a lovely neighbor was kind enough to water my garden while I was gone (because of course it only rained in Acadia, not Southern Maine).