Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big Push

We have had an "inbetween" Rains, where the Soil has dried out enough to plant. Experiencing both relief and adrenaline, Gardeners switch into high gear during those times. Muscles and joints which have rested over the Winter and have not been adequately tested are now called into action. We try to work "steady", not hard. That would not be smart.

During this time, the biodynamic calendar tells us to plant Roots. So we picked from our many choices the Roots we wanted to plant. Carrots seemed to holler: "It's my turn."

The Sweet Potatoes smiled and commented: "I have been preparing all season for this." Since about February 19, I had sprouted Sweet Potatoes Tubers . I took the best Sweet Potato "Mothers" (those with beginning Sprouts) and placed them in Water. Rain Water, to be specific.

When the Sprouts with robust Green Leaves grew to about 5-6 inches in length, I took the Vines off the Mother Sweet Potatoes and placed them in Water. When the Sprouts had an adequate amount of Roots, I placed them in 3 inches of Sand with Water. Sarah Saltmarsh told me to purchase "Play Sand" at an area Garden Store. "Play Sand" should be least toxic. Sand (with Rain Water) would provide "storage" for the Sprouts until Planting Day. I watched them every day to make sure the Sand was neither too dry or too wet.

I used 2 plastic containers that have hospital origins. One was Mother's. Another was mine. I really smiled when I did this. In fact, if I had a sound feature on this Blog Entry, you could probably hear me chuckle. I made good use out of something that seemed to carry tension before.

On the day of planting, we placed 39 Plants in the ridge that Richard had made for them. They looked really happy there. While we were planting, the Temperature was increasing and the Soil was drying out. Since we were planting Plants, we needed Water to "set them in".

Our Water source to the Garden is accessible only by a long hose. We got smarter the more we worked at this. We carefully filled buckets at the Garden's edge. Melanie and Richard carried those buckets to the sites of planting. We would dig a hole, place the Plant in the hole, add Water, and cover with Soil fairly quickly. And then we would move on.We finally planted the Leeks. "Don't forget me!" During ideal growing conditions, they should have been in long before. It just had simply been too wet. As the Soil dried, Richard dug trenches in various places. We added Leeks, Compost, Water. Then we mounded the Soil up around those lovely Plants. The fresh Onion Like aroma wafted up out of my Hands as we worked.

Leek growing season is long. I had started those Leeks from Seeds in late January. They will be ready at the end of the Gardening Season.

We are relatively new to using Leeks. They seem like a New Friend. We look forward to trying some new recipes, including those from our Friends, the Humans. Melanie eagerly planted her Celeries and her Celeriac. They too are planted in trenches. They will need cover to blanch the stalks and keep them tender.Richard also planted Onion Seeds. In our intensity of planting, we discovered the next day that we had forgotten to cover them. He did that on short order. I didn't get to the Onion Sets I had recently purchased. Overall, we made a huge amount of progress in this time period I would call the Big Push. We estimate that the Garden is about 3/4 planted.

Then the Rains began. Those Rains "set the Plants". We should not need to water them any more. It also provides ideal conditions by which the Seeds will germinate. We could almost hear those Seeds doing their "Germination Dance" out there in the Soil. Plus, the Grateful Gardeners headed inside to rest and catch up until the next Big Push to finish the Garden.

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