Parable of the Sower

Posted on December 21, 2011

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I believe that parable of the sower in the bible never took into account grains like buckwheat. Because our yard most definitely is – in alternating patches – rocky, infertile, sandy, full of brambles and thorns, and all sorts of other garden undesirables…and yet, buckwheat has sprouted particularly well in all of those place. In some spots it took better than others, but we have good reason to believe that it simply took best in areas where water pooled because we did a poor job leveling prior to planting and that it seems to have little to do with the soil type.

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This is our buckwheat approximately 8 days after being sown. This is one of the more fertile areas we planted it in. We actually hoed up all the grass in this particular spot.

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This is actually the buckwheat a mere 3 days after sowing. It sprouts amazingly quick, especially considering this is not the ideal time of year for the stuff. Ideally August-October is best in this area if I remember correctly, but it has been particularly warm here and I figured it was worth a shot even if it didn’t grow to fruition and give us any grain. The primary purpose of buckwheat for us is a “green manure” to till back into the soil and provide some nutrients where currently there are little to none.

And now a tour of the rest of the garden…well, sortof a tour…

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This is our lone strawberry plant. It was a purchased plant from Sweetwater Organic Farms over in Town N Country. It is actually right next to our “laundry pond.” My mom insists that the soil and the roots will act as enough of a filter that the plant won’t be ruined or poisoned by being in close proximity to laundry water. We shall see. At the very worst, it is fed by soap, lives, and is still probably better than having been soaked in pesticides on a standard farm.

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This is a green bean plant. Some of these have been transplanted to the front of the house so that they can grow up a fish line trellis Nate created around the front porch. These were grown from seeds.

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These are our accidental pumpkin plants. We have smaller pumpkins as well that were on purpose, but these are actually overtaking a bed that is (look very closely under the giant pumpkin leaves from left to right) romaine (far left) and mustard greens (to the left of the most bottom right pumpkin leaf). Some of the mustard greens are still flourishing even though they are rather shaded by the pumpkin plants, but some don’t look like they’ll make it for very long.

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Kale. I don’t know if I’ve ever had kale. I don’t know if I like or will like kale. But I feel like if Anne from Cafe Hey is such a big supporter of the thing and makes such good pumpkin pie, I’ll try it. Also, gardening makes me want to try all kinds of things I have previously considered somewhat ew or undesirable. Simply because having grown them myself will make them delicious, obviously.

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This is amaranth. Again, I have never tried amaranth and don’t know if I will like it, but this plant is fascinating to me. It gets up to 8 feet tall (or taller, but I think that’s about average) and produces a grain that can be cooked like rice or popped like popcorn and the leaves are also edible in salads. It flowers in deep burgundy, and apparently is burgundy through to the sprout since they came up that color from the soil to begin with. Very excited to see how this one turns out. I am going to plant this is the center of the keyhole garden (pictures at a later point).

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Back: sweet peas Front: pea peas

I feel dumb for not realizing that sweet peas actually produce edible peas. They sell them in the flower department. They are pretty viney things that I wanted to crawl on the fence. So I planted them by the fence as well as edible peas. So we will have a lot of peas. I like peas as long as they did not come from a can. Those are an insult to peas.

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I think one of the kittehs has taken to gnawing the top off the garlic. I need to transplant this since I read somewhere that garlic is not good to plant near peas. I don’t recall why, but I believe it.

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Plug of aloe our neighbor so kindly gifted us. It’s turning a bit yellow, so we’re not sure how well it will survive, but we’ll give it some of Nate’s special worm tea and see what happens.

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A store-bought addition we wanted to have and hadn’t seen seeds for anywhere that I’d purchased them from recently.

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Nate’s baby. The romaine forest near the sink planted with flowers (well supposedly, flowers either grow wicked slow or nothing actually is coming to fruition from those seeds I planted in there). He brings home the butts from the romaine hearts they use at SoHo Pita Pit and plants them. They do really well, as long as small children don’t trample them often.

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Smush drinks from the water can. She is sad that she is not a good gardener.

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