Electronics and vegetables. Someday I’ll be able to explain simply how the two are related. For the time being, I can only say that I have this crazy obsession with growing things, which usually means creating an environment supportive of life, planting a few seeds with the help of friends, and letting things take care of themselves (thanks Masanobu Fukuoka). This season has been especially difficult, not only because of my generally neglectful attitude towards farming, but the weather has been rather manic: generally cool weather punctuated by bursts of record setting hot spells, long stretches of abundant rain, and then weeks without. The tomatoes have fared the worst. We (the owners and friends) planted 4 and a half 25ft rows, twice as many plants as last year, which have yielded only a fraction of the fruit.
There is good news, however. The corn and squash in the lower portion of the field are doing incredibly well. A big surprise considering a.) there is no deer fencing, b.) we didn’t spread manure on that field, and c.) the watering system doesn’t reach the bottom half of that field. Of course, the garlic pictured above was also part of the success story, along with some peppers and potatoes—planted (unwisely perhaps) from some purchased at a local organic grocer.
After planting a row of garlic for next season, we went into the woods to hunt for mushrooms and found quite a few good looking specimens plus a few critters. A red spotted newt was hiding out in a pile of leaves next to a massive cluster of jack-o-lantern mushrooms.
In my usual casual fashion, after another two weeks of letting the field do its thing, I’ll return on the weekend of August 27th. I’m not expecting there to be much more than a few choice squash and fresh herbs, but I am looking forward to experiencing the Duchess County Fair in Rhinebeck. And now for some more tree fungus:
Though not intended to be an urban gardening project, Wind is becoming an example of the possibilities of edible landscaping designed for a minimum of input and upkeep. Beyond the initial labor of preparing the land and planting, bi-weekly watering with monthly light feeding is all that has been necessary to produce vigorously growing plants.
To prepare the land, shallow ditches no deeper than 10″ were dug along the fence. These were filled with organic gardening soil purchased at a regional hardware store. Seeds were planted directly or grown indoors and planted as seedlings. Most seeds were sourced from previous years of planting and saved from plants growing along the sidewalks of NYC. As soon as the plants became established, mulch purchased at a regional hardware store was spread around the plants to retain moisture and regulate temperature.