Damn It Feels Good to Be A Farmer

Back around the time that I first started blogging, my husband decided to blog too. He started a blog, called it “Talkin’ Poop,” wrote two or three hilarious scatalogical entries, then retired from blogging forever in a blaze of glory.

Hee! “Talkin’ Poop.” The best.

Anyway, we’ve been talkin’ poop around here more than usual ever since I realized that I can use the guinea pigs’ poop (excuse me, “manure”) in the garden. I don’t know why I never thought of it before. I was reading this great gardening book (more on it below) and the author mentioned how he uses rabbit manure and how great it is. I looked it up online and guinea pig manure is good for the garden too. The pigs are strict vegetarians, so their poop is about as pure as you can get. And for reasons I’m not clear on, the manure doesn’t really need to be aged like other animals’ manure. You can more or less mix it right in. However, I’ve been dissolving their pellets in water to make “manure tea.” It seems to be good for any plant except the root crops, like carrots and onions. The three major nutrients involved with plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and manure provides nitrogen.

So I’m pretty psyched to have discovered this. It has also softened my attitude toward the guinea pigs. I wasn’t even furious when my son woke me up at 6 am Sunday morning to tell me one had escaped. Now they are my fuzzy little poop machines. I might even consider a rabbit or two.

Well, I don’t have a lot of time to write today. I’m going to be mad busy until at least the 2nd week of June. But things are good. It’s been raining for a week straight, and the garden seems to like it, although it’s been chilly too, which I worry is hindering the seedlings. The most exciting thing recently was that the beans finally emerged. I had totally given up on them. I figured something ate them the one night that I didn’t protect them. But they are all there (8 plants):

 

I planted flower seeds in front garden and gave all the existing stuff a dose of poop tea. I’m redigging a raised bed out back to make it deeper. And I finally found a great gardening book:

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This is from the library but I might buy a copy. Best book on gardening I’ve come across. The author has a no-nonsense, slightly scolding approach that I respond to. He’s like, if you’re garden is messy, you’re probably not a good gardener. (I immediately cleaned up the garden and threw away some stuff that had been sitting there forever.) He says most home gardeners shouldn’t bother with corn, pumpkins, melons and other things that take up too much space. (He’s right, but I don’t care!) He basically goes through the whole season and explains each crop. He also explains ways to group crops, and provides some sample garden plans. Aaand he explains cold frames. Thank you Sal. I highly recommend.

I thought of the title of this post because 1. I love spring and planting stuff, and 2. Isn’t it a great time to be a farmer? Imagine plopping a farmer from the 1800s down today. You’d explain how today, you can know the weather at least a few days ahead of time. No more relying on things like “ring around the moon, rain soon.” And you’d tell him/her how you can go on this Internet thing and instantly get feedback from all these other farmers about crops in your area, techniques, etc., etc. And all the other advances in farming that I don’t know about. Pretty amazing.

So here are some pictures. (Click for captions)

 

It’s been a good week, if busy. I booked our summer trip to Maine and my new slogan is “No Dessert til Mount Desert.” (This works better when you know that Mount Desert is pronounced “dessert.”) I want to lose weight and get in shape to do all the hiking in Acadia National Park. So far so good with that, this week. I’ve cooked a lot, including this pizza with portabella mushrooms and arugula thinnings. That was my birthday lunch on Monday 🙂 Also made chicken, mushrooms, and egg noodles (recipe from Cooking Light) one night, and chicken enchiladas. Oh! I forgot to tell about my trip to a Philly farmer’s market. Oh well, next time.

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