Gardening is therapy, that’s why they invented, March!!
Since the last Newsletter went out, I have been inundated with requests for info about several items and “theory’s” about climate, chemicals, GMO, Government Gardening Intervention, and a ton of, “Can I”…. The last one is easy.. Yes, you can. I do, all the time.. The rest, well, let’s just see what we have here.
Global Warming. Really folks, It IS a trend. Climatically speaking, NO, Maryland people won’t see Crotons thriving in their landscape. Richmond Va will not be “ocean front” property. Ma Nature has been playing with the notion of another Ice Age for about 10,000 years. We have one every 17,000 years or so, so just keep watching the climate trends, they will change again, it does every 30 years, just to keep us wondering. “Average” rainfall and temps, are just that, THE AVERAGE, of an assumed timeframe to make the ratio reality if the decade. I was in Reagans first inauguration. It was 7 degrees that day. The January record high, was 81 in 2002. March record, 94 in 1907. Average that, remember how to do averages? In my previous News Letters, blogs, all my public lectures, I refrain from being nailed down to a date on when to…. Anything gardening. That’s why, I push you to keep your own garden journal. Phenology is a wonderful, misunderstood science blown away by the media, and the big retailers. If there’s one thing I have learned from my decades of gardening, it’s when to change the channel when any garden product vendor is on. I’m shocked, that some haven’t marketed “Un-global Warming” in a can or bag. OK, enough of that, just ponder, Media x $$ – (executive CEO -pension/perks) = mass panic x layoffs/stock loss squared.
Government in My Backyard? or GGI Now, lets let this one out. The Government, has gotten involved with how much vegetables, and what kind, you can grow. Really, it’s out there. This is the third year. Some localities have actually adopted the plan, because of, well, I won’t name names, but the signs in the stores say,’ Locally Grown” or “organically grown”…. Know who now? Over priced produce, that’s not actually local. Check for yourself. Have one of those fancy “scan” apps on your phone? Peel back their label, and you can find most of the time the actual farms scan bar.. Yeah.. Local? There’s a guy going around the country busting these markets as he finds them just with that little scan app.. But, these people and their growers are showing up in congress again for the third year, bolstering us for growing our own food, and not buying from them to keep from eating GMO or chemically enhanced foods.. Google it.. It’s there. And it’s ugly. There are 5 veggies you grow, that you can’t share with neighbors, because you aren’t USDA certified….. It’s there, and coming to your neighborhood soon.
OK, Now the Illusive Chemical Thing Is “Gluten Free” really, free? No, not unless you grow your own Amaranth, Mosh, greens, etc. There is now a huge effort to expose the use of Glyphosate on some crops as a “desiccant”… yes, a desiccant. It’s use is for “killing” of the crop, to make it suitable for harvest, without the leftover “greens” in it. In other words, they “kill” the crop with Glyphosate, for harvest. And you’re eating it.. WAIT!! it gets better. Some of the crops that are GMO, “Round-Up” resistant, they use Corn Gluten in the fields to suppress weeds or unwanted plant growth. Corn Gluten, after 3 years of application, can start to cake up in the soil, and the crops, will start taking up the 10 percent nitrogen available from it, thus, taking up the corn gluten and creating a number 4 thing a Celiac person can’t ingest, besides Barley, Wheat, or Rye… Want more? They spray 2-4d on GMO crops to kill off the broad leaf weeds in hay and straw “suitable” for cattle and horse consumption. I’m still waiting on the results from a few universities about does the animal absorb or eliminate the killer? I think it eliminates it because I have used 2-4d treated hay-horse-poop-tea recently and the plant life didn’t make it….. I don’t like 2 4d in my cereal or my grill. Makes me see spots for a while. Let me know what you find out.
So it’s March. In about 4 days, we will see two more hours of daylight, we will turn our clocks back, we will see Forsythia soon bloom, and we have made our plans for the upcoming garden season. We’ve cleaned our tools, started seeds indoors, shoveled enough snow exhausting ourselves into oblivion. Ran out of projects for “snow day kids”…. Or have we?
For me, as a garden coach, it has been great. Most of my clients have been, like me, chained inside because of this weather Ma Nature has tossed at us this long Winter. Our homes are so clean inside for lack of anything to do outside because of the newly named, “Polar Vortexes”. I have enough exes, don’t need another with a fancy name. OK, back to my clients. Most have gotten the message about “home grown” food. Most have gotten very creative about finding a place to start seeds indoors. Some found a closet and rigged lighting, some just a table, some, found racks for free at stores like I suggested. Now the good part about the weather. Parents have gotten their kids interested in growing indoors as “snow day” projects. I have received a lot of cool feedback on my previous posts about how they made something fun, productive, and a good learning experience for their kids. Funny how the young gardeners don’t realize the “Gardenology” class they are attending while out on a snow day. I think some can’t wait till the next one to add to their crops!!
While at a clients home recently, who I knew they had a “Grow Room”, they showed me some interesting ways their kids were getting involved. They all had their own flat of seeds started, personal garden journal, plot picked out in the garden bed, and yes, they have to “grow” bigger this year, and what each was going to produce for upcoming menus for the season. It was kinda funny, that the youngest was “allowed” to be the Cold Crop Queen!! She’s 6. And her flat was up and going. I had a chance to chat with them about transplanting, feeding, irrigation, soil amendments, last years bugs, etc. They were into it so far, they’re stuck, as gardeners… Or is it, “hooked”? Either way they are in for the long haul of a life of great memories and peaceful therapeutic progress. Nice way to grow, and the parents didn’t realize they were cultivating 5, yes 5, new gardens within their kids. “Gardenology” is something to practice. I understand, from my clients, that their kids, can’t remember the last time they played a video game. When they call the kids for dinner, they come running out from the grow room where there are crayon pics of charts on the wall, on the wall now, not on paper, dates, plans and all “organic” treatments. We talked about companion plantings, succession planting, crop rotation, NPK, and phenology. I think my “new” clients are putting their WII and games on EBay to purchase new garden tools. I talked to the really chatty 11 year old a lot about my big time garden writer friends on Facebook, and thought she’d be the next big garden speaker.
Yeah, it’s March. What did you do with your “snow day kids”? I bet this crew, won’t buy any veggies at all this coming season. I will go back to this home-turned-greenhouse, and include them in my upcoming garden lectures. I kind of have to. Ya see, I started it with the parents, 2 years ago, and they had never put a seed to soil in their lives. This year, they are going total edible landscaping. If they can’t eat it, they ain’t plantin’ it.