Bad News On the Home Front Today

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Bob Bauer
December 18, 2017 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 1 minutes
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December 18, 2017

Bad news on the home front today. The ground has been frozen for a couple weeks and the cats have found easy digging on my compost rich garden mounds. They leave their deposits under a little pile of dirt so I can easily go along and remove them, but it's not a warm fuzzy feeling to add to my spring planting pleasure. Kneeling in the warn sun, in front of a mound, with my kneepads on ( which reminds me to add kneepads to my Christmas list ), planting my little starts, always causes me to savor the aroma of the fresh earth. Cat scat would not be a welcome addition. Having potting mix textured soil a foot deep is every gardeners dream.

We want the roots of our plants to grow unencumbered so that the tops can also grow as quickly as possible. Fast growing plants have far less trouble dealing with the harsh realities of nature's onslaught of preditors and disease. Having healthy plants is a hobby that has its roots (pun intended ) in our ancestral survival. At one point in our past if you couldn't grow food you would die.

December 20, 2017

Tomorrow is the official first day of winter but I've been cold for two weeks now. It's the end of our growing season but if you're lucky you still have beets, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard and spinach to pick. The smell of propane informs me that the crucifers are decomposing. The lack of mushrooms in the woods I attribute to the absence of November rains. Will they come up later? Every weather related incident causes me to wonder if it's the result of global warming or not.

Is it the beginning of a pattern? Can I make decisions based on it, or is it the random perturbations of nature's whim? I have learned that in the winter I need to rake up the weeds that I've hula hoed or they will re-root whether it rains or not. The overcast foggy days allow them to grow horizontally above ground for weeks until they can re-root. In the summer they can die in a day so every winter I forget to rake them up.

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