I’ve chosen a spot for my winter garden box. Today I cleared away the weeds and the marigold bushes that died with the frost last week. The brick wall of our house is facing south. It will absorb the heat during the day and help to retain the heat at night when needed. I also already have a drip hose running through there. I left the strawberries for now but I’ll probably move them because I plan to throw some more dirt on the area.
On November 19 from 7-8pm, I attended a very informative class, along with about thirty other would be winter gardeners. The class, called Winter Vegetable Gardening, was taught by Nathan Vannette, a co-owner and operator of Growing Green Family Farm. It was hosted by the Travelers Rest Branch of the Greenville Public Library. Not only did I learn about different methods and what to grow, but I was given a lettuce starter and five free packets of seeds!
Mr. Nathan Vannette gave an information packed lecture about best practices here in the Upstate of South Carolina for keeping a garden going year round. Now, I have to confess I was a little disappointed, but that’s because I have a tomato growing in my kitchen right now, and I thought I was going to leave the class with what I needed to plant that baby and get some tomatoes this winter. Well, that turns out to be more fantasy than reality for now. That’s because Mr. Vannette ever-so-politely informed me that I would need a grow light to get any tomatoes at all, cuz there’s just not enough hours of light around here. A fully constructed greenhouse with a grow light is not in the cards right now, but maybe an LED light in my kitchen?Continue reading
It's raining and dark
but the rooster is crowing
knowing the light will come.
There was a large moon
even waning it looked full
but now the rooster crows.
There will be light soon
the rain will fall everywhere
on the garden.
The plants will grow.
The rooster will crow.
Why don't people like roosters?
I love to hear the rooster crow.
I know he's being he
and I'm being me
and there will be light
because the rooster is crowing
knowing that the light will come.
I don’t know if my plants in my greenhouse died because they got too dry in the daytime, or if it was because there’s a hole in the plastic at the bottom, or if there is too much air coming up from underneath the deck and I should seal that off, or if I should have watered them even more. I have got to learn the right moves.
I really do need to go to that workshop! If you’re planning on going, I’d be glad to meet some local homesteaders. At least I still have one celery and one tomato inside my kitchen.
My garden draws me into its minute details
derails my attempts to prevail with straight lines
or orderly arrangements, continually demanding
my engagement. The weeds are overgrown into
the path again. The bees, butterflies, biting ants
demonstrate business just like me, finding
sustenance in the flowers until their last hours.
The dragon breathes her last gusts of fire into
the approaching winter. She will hibernate
with the first frost and I too will curl up and dream.
Last year I successfully grew garlic from a garlic bulb that I bought at the supermarket. That went so well that I decided to up my game this year and start off with some heirloom garlic, something that I can’t just buy at the grocery store. So I bought two varieties from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds. That wasn’t cheap, but I reasoned that I would only have to buy it once. I could save some from this year’s crop for next year.Continue reading
I wanted to wait. I was hoping I could let these tomatoes grow another week or two. But I was afraid of losing them. That’s the way it goes. If I’m lucky I’ll be slicing my last red tomato for a Thanksgiving salad.
Unfortunately I was sick on Saturday and these were out of sight and out of mind…. I’m hoping I can save two out of the four tomatoes. At least I still have one in my kitchen…
It’s the time of year here in Greenville SC when the temperature fluctuates wildly between a high that can reach the eighties to a low in the thirties at night. Yesterday for Halloween we had a deluge of rain that brought with it a warm tropical wind, and we had a high of seventy nine degrees. But I have been anxiously looking at multiple sources for weather reports. I knew that the temperature was going to plummet last night, but of course not to the exact degree. So yesterday I brought my hibiscus and gardenia pots inside, where they will stay until the freeze has passed in spring. Since the temperature dipped to thirty nine degrees last night, I did the right thing. The hibiscus plants are not hardy below forty degrees.
The annual ritual of moving my potted plants has gotten to be a bigger chore than it used to be. I also brought in one of my avocado trees, and a potted amaryllis that I couldn’t find a spot for in my house last fall. At this point I have used up about all the space that I have in the sunny portion of our living room. I also brought in one of my pots that has both a tomato starter and a celery starter, both only a few weeks old. I put that one in the kitchen window, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do when that tomato vine starts spreading out a bit. I might experiment with keeping it clipped, (sort of like a tomato bonsai?) and see if I can coax a tomato or two from it that way. I squeezed the amaryllis into the guest room window, which already has an avocado tree, a large gardenia, and a bamboo plant that is almost ten years old now.Continue reading
I spotted this mushroom from about two hundred feet away. It was the only one in the field and looked like a stray toy ball. I didn’t see any stem and didn’t touch it either. It’s about seven inches in diameter. It appeared after a rain that followed an extended dry period and has been there for several days now. Who knows what this is?