Delusions of Gardening


About now I can no longer deny that that panic and guilt are my fellow-gardeners. The garden is quickly turning into a lawn as grass grows up where I’ve planned to dig beds. A few of the 30 peas I planted a month ago are up. The small lettuce bed I dug a few days ago is nice, with its few lettuce plants, but Lou gave us a hundred onion starts, and they sit on our porch in flats. The broccoli, melon, squash and other seeds I planted two weeks ago in flats are not growing, and I’ve about give up on them. Seeds. Aren’t they supposed to work automatically? We’ll be gone for most of the next two weeks. The healthiest corner of the garden is the compost pile because there are a couple dozen volunteer butternut squash seedlings festooning the top of the pile. And yet, and yet. Hugh and I filmed all day yesterday at a biochar workshop at The Pony Farm, near Peterborough, NH. Biochar [clik]? Yeah, charcoal mixed in with your compost and then worked into your soil. It’s either the biggest fad to hit agriculture since agribusiness gave the third world the Green Revolution (remember the Kodak marketing scheme? Give ‘em the camera but sell ‘em the film?), or it is a revolution in soil restoration and crop productivity. A revolution…well, give the Amazon indians of 2000 years ago the credit. They were the people who left behind deep deposits of terra preta [clik], a soil that might still be just about the most productive dirt on earth. Will biochar save us from starvation next winter? Stay tuned. Film at 11.

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