Sunday, August 2, 2020

Rescued Ground

This garden is located near the woods that mark the limit of the glacial deposits that partially fill the river valley . A bedrock ridge supports the existence of trees located on the other side of this depression.  We have four distinct meadows in this area that exist on four different levels.  This ground is the most fertile that we have.  Rather than the usual mix of stones and gravel, this ground consists of clay fines.  The clay presents its own problems while its chief benefit is moisture retention.  We have worked a great deal of compost into this ground resulting in soil that remains porous with enough moisture to support plant growth.

The brown mound in the background was built from weeds removed from this garden.  It is the source of much of the compost that was mixed into this ground.  Only half of this garden is free of weeds.  Once again we tried to do more than we can handle.  Still, time spent here is special.  The roads are far away from here with the only mechanical noise from occasional airplanes breaking the silence.  The sound of the nearby tapping of a Pileated woodpecker cannot be considered as intrusive noise.  It is a natural sound that only adds to the atmosphere of being close to nature.

Our garlic was harvested from part of the area in the foreground.  With the garlic gone, weeds were removed and chopped leaves now cover the bare ground.  We are helping the squash and pumpkins find clear areas in which to grow by carefully moving the vine ends.  Nearby weeds are being removed much slower than the growth rate of these vines and we want to keep the squash away from the weeds and wire fencing.

Presently, we are considering some of this ground as a place where Daylily divisions could be planted.  These huge neglected plants are in desperate need of division and having clear ground ready ahead of time might make that task actually happen.  Garlic will be planted behind the present location of the sunflowers.  These sunflowers are self planted weeds.  Not all weeds are undesirable and more sunflowers will grow someplace here next year.

Our choice for pumpkins is always a variety named Sugar Pie.  Its small size and marvelous sweet taste with smooth texture make great pies.  In a move toward more healthy eating, Becky makes a no crust custard desert.  Portion control forced by the custard cups is another healthy plus.  We have only two pumpkin plants and with any luck more will grow than we can eat with the extras given away.

Waltham Butternut is our squash of choice.  Its longer neck provides more usable product than shorter varieties.  Again only two vines were allowed to grow as the harvest always exceeds our needs.  These squash store on the basement floor for months.  When winter cold makes its presence felt, Becky's baking casserole both warms the house while filling it with comfort smells.

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