Friday, July 08, 2011

Seed and Harvest Gene Update: Let there be seeds


As I mentioned to you in my March and April updates, spring resurrected my "Seed and Harvest" gene. This gene, which so long had lain dormant, was bequeathed to me by my ancestors. While it dominated my springtime, the gene experienced a bit of a drought during the summer in Arizona.

My landscape and garden classes are in hiatus. So, the last few months I considered which outdoor projects I should tackle first. After my classes, I realized I wasn't ready for a full fledged garden. I filled pages of "to do" lists for inside and outside my home. Where should I begin? The choices were vast and beyond my skills.

What I need is a "Master Plan" to follow for the next couple of years to transition my yard into my gardening paradise. A plan which uses my skills and invites the talents of others when I need support. Let me assure you, I am not as organized as a Master Plan would lead you to believe. I know I need a Master Plan, and there are lots of images floating in my head, but nothing has been committed to paper yet.

But, I wasn't going to let lack of a plan stop me.

In May, I bought a few plants. I dedicated my early evenings to check their growth, to water when needed and to make sure Harrison, my eight month old puppy, had not devoured my treasures. I was on "weed patrol" each night and the daily walks through the yard have improved its appearance. However, it has not been all fun and games.

My strawberry plants flowered and then withered in the Arizona sun not a berry to be seen nor eaten. Harrison ate my peppermint plant, its remains strewn across the stones of my backyard. The elephant food is the sole survivor and I have yet to plant my loofah seeds. I am a far cry from my ancestral roots of living off the land.

So, my latest plan is to let monsoon season and triple digit temperatures pass. In autumn, I will test my hand and plant fall and winter vegetables. The elephant food will be transplanted from pot to earth and I envision an ocotillo in the north east corner of my yard. And, yes, that gate I want to build to save the vegetables from Harrison, well, that is further down on the list.

In the meantime, I have discovered how to get that "home grown" harvest satisfaction without the soil and toil. There is an organization called www.bountifulbaskets.org which brings locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables to its participants. The program is run by volunteers who coordinate all of the orders, meet at pre-assigned locations and distribute the food.

I signed up for the co-op and picked up my first basket last Saturday. I was delighted with the kale, tomatoes, broccoli, pears, peaches, grapes, strawberries and watermelon. Yes, watermelon.

When I brought my basket of goods into my kitchen both times, I pretended I picked these items from my own backyard. If my own "Seed and Harvest" gene did not grow these delights, I could enjoy it like it had. I washed and dried the items, saving the watermelon for last. I used my serrated knife and sliced it down the middle.

Inside, there was an oval shaped ring of black seeds. If you read my blog of Sunday, June 12 , you understand how watermelon played a role in my family history and triggers memories of each generation. How odd that I find my bountiful basket watermelon is filled with seeds. Now I only have one more comment.

Yes, Ashley, watermelons have seeds.

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