OK, it’s been about 6 weeks since we have been getting prepped. Either we have decided to go container, raised bed, or in the ground. Seeds have been started, they should be full and leafy, roots coming out the bottoms of the root balls. Maybe given a small shot of food. Solarized beds are showing substantial growth, maybe even some insect life. All’s well if you obtained that. Raised beds are built, amendedand cooking. Containers should be rinsed with a light bleach solution if they are being re-used. Gravel, Styrofoam peanuts, hair curlers, bag of green Army Men, whatever, for drainage in the pots ready. Compost cooking all Winter for amendments is getting ripe now. Shorts in Walmart, Bikini’s in Target, Tomatoes at the box stores…. We are ready but Ma Nature still has some unpleasantness in store. For 2 years in a row, we have had some sort of freezing precipitation on April 7th. We are not out of it yet.
Unless you are prepared to baby your tender veggies, don’t jump the gun yet. Row covers are not all that fun, and won’t hold up 1/4″ of ice which is what we usually get in April. We have plenty of time to grow, but we are running out of time for the prep. Remember, some of you (and me) are planning to show a difference in our food bills this year. I have been mentioning the old “Victory Gardens” of yore, and now the spin is “Recession Gardens”… I kinda like that. It will mark our point in history in years to come. Whenever someone mentions “Recession”, most of us will also remember the great Tomatoes, Green Beans, Squash, Melon’s, Cucumbers, etc., that we relished on during this time. Even bragging like over blown fish stories. To make it through, we need to be “Dirt Ready”.
This term is not just soil in a bag ready. It should be thought of as, “Do I have the right tools to maintain my dirt, is my dirt properly bedded, and most important, am I ready to get dirty?” Michelle Obama proved to the nation last week, that you can dress classy, and get dirty. I don’t think for an instant, that she would have hesitated to get on her knees to plant something in that photo-op. I really don’t think it was a put on. I think the media thought she was just going to be the figure head. I believe she shocked them when she picked up a shovel and knew how to use it. I believe she would, or maybe after the cameras were gone, she did, get down and dirty in that garden. I wonder though, if memories of her childhood were flowing through, of her gardening with Dad, or Grand Ma, or whoever. Playing in dirt usually brings back pleasant memories of someone in your past. Dirt. Who would have thought we were right as kids. Why did someone always yell out the back door at us, “Don’t get dirty!” And what did we do? Got dirty… It was almost as if we were not supposed to know the joys of dirt.
Advantages of getting dirty. Stressed at work? Play in the dirt. Want to amend a frendship or make up with a spouse. Go plant something together. Want atonement? Plow a garden plot for someone who can’t. Karma is a wonderful thing. Ahhh, dirt. You can learn a lot from its complicated biological formation. We came from it, and we will eventually go back to it, maybe that’s the attraction, I dunno… I have 5 children, and 3 Grandchildren. I always encouraged dirt. Don’t think I was ever the one yelling about the dirt on them. I mean, it washes off you know. Yeah, my offspring are dirt ready. I can only hope that when they plant, they think of me. They are after all, my personal garden. And I am proud to have “dirty” kids. Yeah, they will feed me when I’m 80.
So are we dirt ready, because its getting close to get dirty. I would recommend though, if you are planning to prove what you can save on what you grow, NOT to wear what The First Lady wore. That wouldn’t be cost effective. Let’s get dirty.