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One Tomato

A tomato starter under a grow light, (and some celery too.)

I have finally accepted that a tomato is not going to grow in winter, not even in a greenhouse, without some extra hours of sunlight. I am down to one tomato starter that is still alive almost half way through December. I am determined for it stay alive, and also to get a few tomatoes from it! So I bought a grow light, my first one ever.

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The Warm Spot

A nice warm spot, a south facing brick wall.

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.

I cut the echinacea to the ground and cleared away the weeds and marigold bushes.
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Winter Veggies that Grow in Greenville

Mr. Nathan Vannette recommends Agribon as a cover for a hoop winter garden, because of its durability, and because it is less likely than plastic to get caught in a wind.

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!

Reading materials available at the library for would be winter gardeners.

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?

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The Rooster is Crowing

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.
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Admitting Defeat

There is no avoiding that this is a total fail…

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.

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The Dragon will Soon Sleep

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.