By LYNNE IRONS
If only things happened as they do in my mind’s eye — the perfect world if you will. My huge shipment of bulbs arrived a few weeks past. I spent quite a bit of time organizing according to color, bloom time, and height. I could picture a scenario of several month’s color. I even thought through coordinating with spring-blooming shrubs. I set to work. I honestly don’t believe I put my shovel into the ground once without cutting up the bulbs of my past plantings. I must be crazy. I swear next spring I am finally taking those photographs. I did manage to get a few dozen hyacinths planted. I ordered every color. I put crocus, (both giant and early species) into the same holes. I used Bulb Tone in the holes and sprinkled some on top. Hopefully it will give the skunks a little snack so they will not dig up everything to get to the bonemeal in the bottom of the hole. Nothing is more aggravating than having yesterday’s work to bury again.
In the beginning of August I purchased 50 pounds of field peas. Go big or go home! I planted some on the newly vacated plot previously occupied by the early potatoes. I cut them for salad greens at two to six inches tall. They are so delicious. Then, as they toughen, they are great wilted slightly or sauteed with garlic and olive oil. Now at almost two feet tall, I am hacking them in large quantities as pig food! Plus, all the while, they are improving the soil. I suppose if the weather would hold I could set a stool in the middle and pick a few pods.
The winter farmers’ market was held for the first time last Saturday at the Agricultural Hall. It was a huge success. The vendors were spread out, giving shoppers plenty of space for browsing and gabbing. There was a band playing, cheeseburgers cooking, coffee-drinking, and money-spending. I ran into plenty of folks including Charlie and Teena Parton. They were visiting from western Massachusetts. Remember them as previous owners of Alley’s General Store? I bought some beautiful turnips from Whippoorwill Farm, tons of winter squash from Flat Point Farm, and warm baking powder biscuits from Orange Peel Bakery. I also purchased some Easter egg radishes from Blackwater Farm which were incredibly mild. In fact, I cooked some in salad dressing and poured over some greens. Yummy! Apparently, the market will be happening once a month. Plan to attend. They also offered meat, eggs, wool and an assortment of jams and baked goods.
Then on Sunday I was back at the Ag Hall for the monthly meeting of Homegrown. It was a very informative session. We talked at length about garlic. It’s not too late to get some planted. Generally, the supermarket variety will not work. It most likely has been treated to prevent sprouting. A good company from which to order is Filaree Farm, 182 Conconally Highway, Okanogan, Wash., 98840. The phone number is 509-422-6940, or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may want to purchase both the hard neck and soft neck types. The soft neck is a better keeper and will lend itself to braiding. The hard neck produces four big cloves which are way easier to peel. It likes fertile, well-drained soil. Every bulb needs to be broken apart, each individual clove planted about six inches apart, and mulched. Next July, each of those cloves will have turned into a bulb — paper and all. Trust me, you’ll want plenty.
Thank you to Hans Solmssen for calling from New Jersey. He had kind words and a suggestion after reading my comments about the dust bowl. He recommended The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. I may have to pull a Hezekiah and ask God for an extra 15 years in order to do all the reading I’d like. I read an article by Donald Kaul in Liberal Opinion that shocked, dismayed and amused me all at once. Forgive me as I blatantly plagiarize.
Saudi Arabia thinks that nations fighting global warming should pay them a fee to make up for their loss of business. You heard correctly. They want to be paid extra for using less oil. They actually come by this absurd notion honestly. We gave AIG and other looters billions for sucking the economy dry. We paid GM and Chrysler for not selling cars. We absorbed the losses of Wall Street so their executives could receive obscene bonuses. It all started by paying farmers not to grow crops. I don’t do many things. Where’s mine?