Friday, January 16, 2009

Getting Excited!

Good thing are happening.

I'm rooting four new tomato plants. My current plants are about a year old and are still producing but spring is coming and I want to make sure I have healthy, vigorous plants. I'll keep the old plants as long as they continue producing. I'm curious to see how long they will live and produce.

I picked the last red bell pepper yesterday. I have two pepper plants that I bought last spring. A few weeks ago I picked the last pepper on the first plant. I fertilized it and continued to care for it. Yesterday I counted one open blossom and over a dozen buds about to open. I hope to get a second crop.

I'll miss my goal of having raised garden beds constructed by the end of the month. I have them started and about half finished. Last summer I bought enough used retaining wall blocks to build 96 linear feet of beds that will be 12 inches deep. I'm putting the stone on the south side and will build the other three sides from timbers. The materials I have on hand will give me about 400 square feet of beds.

Here's the really good news. I have a co-worker who is Hopi. Yesterday I asked her what varieties of corn she raised last year. She told me she raised white, blue and sweet corn. I asked if she knew where I might get some seed and she volunteered to give me some of each as well as some red corn.

Can you believe it? I'll have seed that isn't genetically modified, seed that hasn't been engineered for industrial agriculture, seed that hasn't been produced and shipped across the country to a foreign environment. I'll have seed that has been protected, treasured and passed from generation to generation by Hopi who have lived here for hundreds of years. I'll have seed that is a gift from a friend.

I'm getting excited. Blue Hopi corn! Wow! The older I get the more I feel like I live a charmed life.


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

And all I get is burpee..........

1/17/2009 04:19:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That's pretty neat, but brrr it's cold here.

1/17/2009 05:09:00 AM  
Blogger MojoMan said...

I love the idea of you growing truly native corn that may go back hundreds (or even thousands?) of years. I may look for a couple of heirloom varieties this year.

Will you have to truck in water for all that new garden space? I've been thinking about capturing water from my roof but read that such water may carry contaminants (like lead from flashings, bacteria from birds, etc.)

1/17/2009 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Malcolm said...

Just reading about it, I can really share your excitement about the Hopi corn - really must make you feel in touch with the earth!

1/17/2009 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

MojoMan, I will use some rain water that I harvest from my roofs but I will have to haul some water this year. I plan on purchasing two 2,500 gallons cisterns and will use one of them for the garden. At the moment I have about 1,100 gallons of storage for gardening.

Concerning contaminates in the water: Eventually I plan to harvest rain water for all my domestic water. To do this I'll replace my roof with a safe material and will install a filtration system to eliminate biotic threats. In the interim I feel comfortable using the water I am collecting for the garden since I know the materials involved and there is no lead or other toxic materials.

For some years gardening will be a financial loss if I count the cost of cistern, water, transportation, materials for the beds, fencing, etc. I don't know how many years before I'll recover my investment but I don't care and won't calculate that number.

Gardening is a source of food, physical exercise, stress relief, a sense of accomplishment and other things. I would rather sepnd money on a garden than the latest electronic gadget.

There's something about being self-sufficient that touches the core of my being. Infants are born helpless and dependent. They have an inherent drive to mature, become independent and learn to be responsible and provide for themselves. However, our government and society function to keep us dependent, irresponsible, immature and in peril. A breakdown in the system and food may or may not be available at the local groceries and I have no control over the cost. I don't like being dependent on the system to provide me with food, water and the necessities of life. I should be able to provide them for myself.

1/17/2009 04:46:00 PM  
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