“With No Malice”©2012
A General Interest Opinion Column by an opinionated person.
Vic Topmiller Jr.
“We may take Fancy for a companion, but must follow Reason for a guide.”
Gardening, it's good for the Soul.
It's also good for the body and purse.
We could talk about the next few years for the next few years, and we would accomplish very little. Yes, I know, a little leaven leavens the whole loaf, but not in the world of politics. Besides, I don't want you to become the sacrificial lamb for a cause that you can't win alone. At least not in a society that ascribes to the notion that it's a democracy while actually it is a republic. That is to say, once the majority elects its representatives the folks are no longer needed, required or even invited to the party.
So, we'll think on the subject – how to win the next game – but in the meantime, let's not fool ourselves with unsubstantiated facts, but rather, let's get busy and do something we know will have positive results – LET'S PLANT A GARDEN.
Well, not yet, but it seems that some non-agrarian folks think that gardening is just for the summertime. Boy, are they wrong. You see, gardening is a year-round job of love. Every garden season, winter – spring – summer – fall, a garden needs attention of some sort. Like the ant, he never thinks summer in the summertime, he thinks winter in the summertime and that's what keeps him on the move. Look at the critter in the summertime and watch him scurry. You think that's because he is so excited about playing in the sun? Not a chance—he's in a hurry headed for the nest with all he can possibly tote because he knows that winter is coming and winter is cold, and the snow is too deep to go out and gather food and for that an ant could starve. So, in the summer the ant thinks winter. I hate to say this, but isn't it about time to think summer for our nation.
So, in the winter, the gardener thinks spring. So, what does that mean? Every year through the gardening season, spring, summer, fall, we are either planting or growing or harvesting our crops. In the winter, our garden soil needs to rejuvenate, and that's where we are. Winter.
Out of the soil in the forms of beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and on and on we have taken its power to reproduce and now the time has come to pay back the debt for the bounty it yielded.
It's that time of the year now, just a few more months and we'll be planting our early crops—carrots and greens and radishes. Oh, those early crops, they taste so fresh and healthy because we did our job in the winter to honor the soil. It isn't hard or complicated.
It's like this. Chop into the soil all of the leftover garden debris. That is, the bean vines, cucumber and squash vines, weed stalks and whatever organic stuff is still there. Yes, I know that there will be volunteer seeds that will come up next year but just consider this green mulch when it does and chop it in the soil before it re-seeds. Then add a few inches of mulch. Make your own out of saved leaves or buy it from a garden supply store. If your garden is sizable, use a rototiller to cut and mix this into the soil. Not deep, just a few inches will do. We'll cut deeper in the spring. If you don't have a rototiller, no big deal, rent one or hire a gardener to do it. Now, scatter the ashes from the fireplace on top of that. No need to do any more. Let it sit until spring.
We'll talk about spring when spring gets here. Right now we can be satisfied that the garden will be ready and happy when spring does get here.
Some folks plant in pots and planters or raised gardens (the easiest), but the technique is similar. It's not complicated; just get fresh organics into the soil and let the soil do what it was created to do.
“God almighty first planted a garden. And, indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.” Francis Bacon.
That's My Opinion.