Harvesting Has Begun

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Things seem to be growing really fast now that the rain has slowed and the heat has been turned up. The plants need daily watering with heat indices over 100. The humidity is high just the way the tomatoes like it. The nights are warm and humid and that makes the corn grow. My dad used to say that he could actually hear the corn grow. I can’t confirm nor deny that’s it true but other folks of his generation have said the same thing. Apparently it just kind of creaks and groans as it reaches for the sky.

Gardens all across the city are starting to pop. This is what gardeners have been waiting for since that first seed was poked into the peat pot to sprout. From now until frost, a gardener reaps what he has sown. Well, if he can get there before the wildlife. Did they weed the soil; did they till up the ground; did they plant the seeds; did they give care to the plants; did they water the plants when they were thirsty? It hardly seems fair that they think it’s all theirs to pig out on as they please.

While at the Terra Nova Gardens one day contemplating all the work that needs attention, along came a well-dressed man looking at all the properties on my side of the road. I asked if I could help him. He told me he was a real estate appraiser and was contracted by the power company to appraise easement rights for the properties on my side of the road. He continued to inform me that the power lines and poles would be replaced all the way from the distribution station to the end point. Being concerned, I asked just how many feet do they want for use. He indicated that it would be 34 feet from the curbside of the road. That would be half of my most developed part of the garden. They are supposed to send me a letter explaining all the details and what would be offered in the easement settlement.

Some of my friends encouraged me to just say no, but I suspect that would lead to court cases and it might be delayed, but eventually it would happen. I’m going to wait and see what happens. My philosophy with government, or in this case a utility company, is to just let them do what they want and then recover and carry on. Hopefully, they won’t damage much. The photograph below shows the pole that would need replacing. My garden fence posts, dwarfed by the power pole, are sticking up out of the ground six feet. So just a wild guess, this pole is about a 60-foot pole. Well, what shows above the ground, that is. I haven’t got a clue as to what’s under the ground.

Bindweed is the curse of Terra Nova Gardens. Now that the tall nettles have been cut down and the wild grape vines have been chopped out of the ground, life is good, right? Wrong again. I noticed this year that, first, some kind of tough strong growing weeds came up. After they were destroyed, the tough prairie grass came twice. The bindweed set in for the rest of the summer. It’s a constant battle with different weeds at different times of the year. Bindweed and grass just never come to an end until the killing frost.

In the photo below you can see a cute little fella that’s just a little sprout. It really kind of looks non-threatening and docile, don’t you think? After all it’s the wild cousin of the Morning Glory. Well, some think the Morning Glory is a pretty flower, but I’ve pulled enough of that weed vine out of the cultivator shovels when cultivating corn that it’s become a noxious weed in my book. Same as the bindweed.

Or if you want to wait a month, then you can deal with this for bindweed. Yes, the whole mess was just from a handful of bindweed roots. The whole left side of the photo was carpet under the bindweed. It all came from three or four roots along the fence line. So what have we learned here? Pull out the cute little fella above or carry away two big wheelbarrow wads of foliage. It doesn’t take long to go from one to the other. Good intentions don’t seem to slow down the bindweed growth one bit.

Two hours of blood sweat and tears later. It looks a lot better but still needs a little bit more tidying up. It’s just never ending this year with weeds. The rains of April through the middle of June gave them prolific growth. The effort of weeding will be overgrown in just a couple weeks if regular maintenance isn’t given to the area after the weed eradication.

It almost looks like a garden, doesn’t it? Well, the strawberries could stand a little weeding on the right, but this part of the garden has been weeded so many times I’ve lost count. The tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers and green beans are doing wonderful. When the cucumbers were just wee little sprouts, I thought the deer were going to get them because I saw a little leaf nibbling here and there. I guess they didn’t take a liking to the rough fuzzy leaves and eventually, they left both the beans and the cucumbers alone. The tomatoes have been dribbling in since July 5th, but the big flush is yet to come. I have a source who is going to take the big flush and process them. When I supply the tomatoes, she will give me a few processed jars in return for the tomatoes. It seems like a great deal to me.

That’s it for now at Terra Nova Gardens. Full speed ahead on the fencing. Perhaps by the next post the big wooden fence with be completed. Yea, a three-year project completed. Won’t that be great?  

The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard. – Joel Salatin (My words are – so let’s get busy and grow something.)

Nebraska Dave
Urban Farmer
Omaha, Nebraska

For more about Terra Nova Gardening go to Old Dave’s Garden.