Friday, March 6, 2009

Hump Day

Yesterday was a busy one. I woke at the crack of 9AM to get some tomato and onion seeds that had their little umbilical cords sticking out of their body, into the ground. By this I mean I had germinated these seeds in water and their roots had breached the shell. The previous night, I had been deliberating to myself, about the location of where best to place these seeds. I realize that planning a garden is harder than it seems. There are many considerations such as: sun/light/water needs, companion plants, crop rotation, plant height, time to maturity, insects, diseases, etc. All these things must be factored into the placement of the plant, in relation to the others. Fortunately, I live in Hawaii, where the temperature issue is almost non-existent.

I also realized how much faith you must have to start a garden. I have been waiting for the peas to pop out of the ground for the past couple of days. I put them in on Feb. 28, 5 days ago, and still no signs of them. We do the best we can to provide for the needs of plants, but much of the process is really up to nature. I just hope they are shy.

I used the cool afternoon to do some harder work in the back. I haven't found a good spot for the blueberry plant yet. I had dug a small hole on the west edge of the yard, thinking that this would be a good place. I then proceeded to heavily prune the tree branches that cast a large shadow in that spot.

Later, I thought to myself that this was an okay place, but I felt that it should go elsewhere. In Gaia's Garden, Toby says this stage in the development of your "food forest" is critical. Just as before you build a building, you have the blueprint, so should you have a map of what goes where, and a reason why. I have forgone this step, because I don't fully know all the plants that will eventually be in the yard. Instead, we are doing this piecemeal style. I'm taking it slow so as ideas develop, they can be worked into the ongoing process.

Today, I went on a short hike in the gulch behind and below my house. It was a nice stroll through somewhat overgrown milkweed and grasslike plants. I walked on hoof-trodden paths, avoiding the occasional cowpie and goat pellet turds. The weather was perfect for such an activity: sunny, but not hot, and a light breeze.

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