Sunday, April 15, 2018

We All Need Gardens

 Here are some cherry tomatoes reminding me that, in spite of the wintry weather outside, spring will come and gardens will grow.
At church this morning, a fellow was sharing about a trip he recently made to Guatemala with his brother. He grew up on a dairy farm so he is a practical sort of guy and knows about growing things. The soil in the area he visited  is heavy clay. The locals primarily eat corn which will grow well in that kind of soil, but the people are malnourished because they lack variety in their diet. So this man showed them how to make raised beds and how to lighten the soil with compost and sand. Now they can grow root vegetables like carrots, beets, onions, etc.
 He and his brother also built a cement washing area away from the river so that the river wouldn't get polluted with soap and dirt. The washing area drains into a big pit which is filled with leaves and loose dirt. Around the perimeter of the pit, banana trees are planted that will soak up the water and nutrients in the grey water. Simple, practical solutions that will be helpful for years to come.
Here's a pot of globe amaranth I am starting. I like this flower because it has red stems and  a branching habit. The round flowers in pink, magenta or white, dry very easily and keep their colour for months. We all need colour and light in our lives.
The fellow who visited Guatemala also helped with installing some lighting in the school's classroom as they only had one light bulb which wasn't adequate at all. Now, in the rainy season, the students will have some brightness in their classroom and will be able to learn better and feel happier. There are so many ways to help each other.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fresh from the Indoor Garden

 I pulled two radishes from their pots this morning.  I planted them in mid-Februay and they have grown just fine on the windowsill. I put 5 seeds in a 4" pot and that gave them enough room. I fertilized them once a few weeks after planting and made sure I kept the soil damp which usually meant watering every day. Although they look small on the large plate, they are about 1" across so average radish size.
Also on the plate is celery from the plants I brought in from the outside garden last fall. It has been growing well albeit a bit leggy.  The flavour is mild - almost a bit sweet.
At the front of the plate, is a piece of basil. I started that at the same time as the radishes. It is easy to grow on a windowsill. It adds some zing to a salad or sandwich.
This is the view outside my window. Spring is slow to come this year. We had some nasty, extremely windy weather a couple of days ago . On the plus side, I read the cold might be hard on the deer ticks. April is often the month when the dog and/or I pick up a tick but I don't have to worry with snow still on the ground.