Ralph’s Guest Garden Update

Excerpting from a comment today…

My in the ground garden is not doing very well this year. Thank goodness for containers. I just came in from collecting some seeds and watering the yard. I have a new found and deep unbelieving of anything the weather forecast says when it comes to rain. I know forecasting isn’t the most precise thing, but really. They are trying to tell me the temperature and sea levels in 100 years but they can’t tell me the weather for tomorrow.

This year I think the biggest change in the garden will be planting things for a fall harvest. I got a new winter seed catalog, ‘Summer planting means winter harvest’ from Territorial. Maybe I’ll have better luck in the cooler weather. A lot of the ‘leafy stuff’ grows well into the cold- I will put that to the test. This year I left pumpkins out. My vines got really big but nothing came out of them. Eventually they died, I guess from bugs. If my zucchini doesn’t grow again this year I think I’ll leave it out next year. I am thinking maybe less variety next year but more of what I do plant.

One thing I’ve heard of a few times but haven’t done yet is start a garden journal. I would use a paper notebook, although an electronic one would work. To me some things are better on paper. Is anyone using a garden journal or thinking about it? …

Thanks Ralph, for your comments and today’s …

QUESTION:  Is anyone out there doing a garden journal?  I used to keep a notebook where’d I’d write down what I was planting (since otherwise, if they were unsuccessful, I’d forget what I’d tried).  I haven’t done that lately but I do think of the blogging as something of a journal.  I’ve been keeping journals for most of my life (I think 3rd grade is the earliest I remember), so I can see how this is like doing the online blogging thing is like journaling, but it’s different because, as open and honest as you want to make it, the fact of the matter is you’re still writing something anyone can read.  I think it’s hard to let go of that fact (and maybe better not let go of anyway).  Of course, depending on who’s around you, a journal, too, is something that might not end up being for your eyes only.

I think that keeping a gardening journal could be very helpful, as I think the act of gardening is transformative, and observing by recording a thing that’s transformational helps bring it into focus.  However, I think I’d have a hard time deciding whether it would be a more touchy feely kind of thing or if it would just be a record to help remember what’s underground, and how it’s behaving.  What kind of journal would yours be? Go ahead … gimme the dirt!  (I’d love to see an entry if anyone’s up for opening up their deepest darkest secrets from their own gardening – or other – journal)!

Guest Post by Kathe Johnson

Fellow Revelers, I hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend as much as I am.  It also happens to be my birthday weekend, and, as a present to me, several fellow revelutionaries have graciously agreed to guest host post over the next several days. So I am pleased to introduce you to our first, hailing from Wisconsin, an all around amazing individual and one of my most favorite people of all time, Kathe Johnson:

I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on tv. I’m not a gardener, but I love to read gardening books and listen to gardeners share their stories. As I do, I wonder what transformation takes place in the gardener as in the seed. What attracts a gardener to the activity? Does it teach patience? I don’t think so. I think gardeners want to be alone, and gardening is a way to shut out some of the commotion of their everyday lives. I’ve often asked myself why I don’t garden, even though I have curiosity about it, and – the answer I tell myself – I don’t know what I am doing. I would feel like a failure, if I planted a flower and weeds came up. Perhaps I should check out Gardening for Dummies. My friend, Roxie, gave me some potatoes with eyes on them to plant so I could grow potatoes. Guess what? I have no the hell idea how to put them in the ground. Do I cut them? Do I put the whole thing in ? What do I do with it? I’m serious. So I gave them to someone who already has a garden. Except one. I have one potato with an eye down there.

I feel joy and awe when I think about people and their gardens, knowing that there is a looming world food shortage and those gardeners might somehow be lessening the pain of hunger even if it’s just by a little bit. I wish that gardening were taught in elementary school in the classroom. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote, “if everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world it would be.” I think if everyone grew just one little garden, what a right world it would be.

QUESTION: do you agree that gardening should be taught in public schools?