GRIT blogs are really back

| 4/20/2013 10:48:25 PM

A photo of Nebraska DaveI know I've said it before but I really think that GRIT blogging is back this time.  I've noticed that there are a few blogs that I can't find but I truly believe that as new blog posts are sent to be posted the landing page will straighten itself out over time.  I worked in the technology field for 40 years.  It became a higher passion than gardening if you can believe that.  So I know it's not easy task to juggle changes on a Website as complex as the Ogden Publications website.  I personally have dealt with implementing improvement updates and know how supposedly unrelated areas would be affected by the changes.  My admiration goes out to the IT people of today. Long gone are the simple days of DOS.  For those of you that don't know what DOS is just be thankful that you don't and move on.

There's not much to report from the Urban Ranch or Terra Nova Gardens.  I have made a couple visits to Terra Nova Gardens but just to check on how it survived the winter.  The continued cold weather with rain, snow, and wind has prevented any garden preparation.  I have started my tomatoes and green peppers under the grow lights.  They are about a month behind schedule but the way the weather is acting this spring maybe that's a good thing.

Dandelion Greens 

I was in serious need of some kind of gardening.  Desperation will make a person do some reckless things.  I walked out to survey the garden beds at the Urban Ranch backyard and came upon two big healthy dandelions.  I couldn't help myself.  I harvested the dandelion greens and .... ate them.  They had a bitter but fresh garden taste.  So I can say that I ate my first greens fresh from the garden even though they weren't planted by me.  I just may have to revisit those dandelion roots for another harvest soon.  I am sooooo ready for Spring.

It does appear that the 697 bags of grass/leaf yard waste mixture that I dumped a foot deep on Terra Nova Gardens last fall are doing their job.  Only a few hardy weeds have struggled their way up through the heavy mulch.  I severed their roots with a shovel; pulled out the weeds; and dumped them on the compost heap.  The space between the garden and the road got a weed whack to keep it looking nice and the pathways in the fenced raised bed area got carpeted.

I met another colorful character of the neighborhood at Terra Nova Gardens.  His name was Chad.  He stopped to talk about how he had grown hot peppers for over 20 years.  He proceeded to tell me that he had developed a pepper that had four times the heat of a regular hot pepper and got special privileges to make hot sauce for all the prisoners.  Yeah, prisoners caught my attention.  I just let him continue to talk and he explained that back in 1956 he was a Hell's Angel and got sent to prison for murder.  His sentence ended up being several 20 year terms which normally would mean life in prison but the judge allowed him to serve them at the same time.  Hell's Angel Chad ended up serving 36 years in prison because of .... well some altercations along the way.  He ended his five year parole just last year.  

Bobcat Larry continues to stop by almost every time I'm at the garden.  For those that don't know him, he has been very helpful from the very beginning with the clearing of the land and digging out the spring.

I don't think I've ever told you about shotgun Annie either.  There's an old lady .... well she looks old but I really don't know just how old she is.  She drives an old junk car; has the sweetest missing teeth smile; has shoulder length scraggly hair; and loves to talk about her garden.  She stops by every so often to tell of her neighborhood adventures.  She lives in probably the roughest part of town where angels fear to go.  Yeah, that's about five blocks away from Terra Nova Gardens.  One day we got into a discussion about her bad neighborhood and she said that she always has a loaded shotgun on the kitchen table and if anyone tries to get through the door they would be meetin' up with a load of buck shot.  Her house pet is mean junk yard dog that will kill anything that moves on her property.

Least you think that the neighborhood is filled with scary people, I will tell you that there are many more quite ordinary people that live there.  It's a very interesting mix of folks and I think I love talking with them about as much as I love gardening there.  It appears that most of them just want some one to listen to them tell their life story.  If they can't stop and talk which is not very often, they will most definitely honk and wave while driving past the garden.

garden gazbo 

There's another donation to the garden project.  If you look close in this picture you will see the frame work for a patio covering.  The top used to have a canvas cover to keep the sun off the folks under the covering.  Since the canvas all ripped, the neighbors decided to replace it with a new one and asked if I could use it at Terra Nova Gardens.  Duh, of course I can.   I plan on putting it over the picnic table and covering the top with pallet boards.  Maybe it will get painted or maybe not.  The rustic look might be a good thing. 

The real flower story for the Urban ranch has been the Daffodils.  They have weathered three snow storms, a hail storm, wind, and freezing temperatures only to look as beautiful as ever.  You just have to admire the toughness of Daffodils.

I guess that's it for this time.  May the GRIT blogs live long and prosper.

5/21/2013 5:49:01 AM

Sounds like you're having a rough time playing hide and seek with spring, Dave. Maybe you should holler "ollie, ollie, oxen free" and see if it won't come out and play. But seriously, things have been cooler than normal for us too, but not like there. I have most pf my garden in, although the tomatoes didn't go out until just this past weekend. I ordered some sweet potato slips that are weeks overdue. I asked them what was up and they said their grower was experiencing cold weather and was having a hard time getting his plants to produce in quantity. I guess it's all over. Al Gore must have repealed that Global Warming thing he was pushing so hard! :-)

5/2/2013 1:31:31 AM

Robyn, ha, funny you should mention dandelion greens. I rooted out a 35 gallon trash can full of dandelions from my back yard. I wasn't desperate enough to eat any this time but if the bad weather keeps up they just might be in danger of consumption. Have a great day in the garden.

Robyn Dolan
5/1/2013 9:49:50 PM

Love hearing about your projects, Dave. The best part about a small town is the diversity of characters who live there. Hope your garden does well this year. I think I see some dandelion greens I need to go pick...

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