Life’s a Garden – The ‘sparagus needs your help!!!

I found out a few years  back that I really love  growing things…there’s  something  special about  planting a seed, nurturing it  watching it grow and harvesting it’s  fruit. I even got my  son   hooked on it…I’m not that  good  at it, but   I’m proud of my   gardening…. I look forward to the  day (soon)  where we have  much more property and I can  have a  giant garden…  I do realize the   symbolism  here put to  real world experience which makes it all  even more special to me… to  plant the seeds,  to  nurture and to enjoy watching  them grow, to do what you can to keep the weeds out and give each plant the  room to  grow but not let them get too big and take from others,  to  reap what you’ve sown  and at the end of the  season to  till it under and begin again….it’s the  circle of life, the cycle of  the world… Please  read into this post. It is deeper then just the garden and has  real roots……..but let me  get back to  basics….

Every year I plant a  garden , my  garden isn’t  completely  “traditional”   (go figure Mikey would  do something unconventional!)  I  do have a wonderful raised  garden,  then I  do  potatoes ( hmm  Dan Quayle moment? is there an  e? )  in a  big black tub… I do all my different  peppers  (Easton and  I  grow and   pickle our own peppers) in “grow bags”  – basically  mini  5 gallon garbage bags with a  flat bottom and  holes  for drainage..

Here’s a  photo  album of  our  “garden yard”  from 2011

I have   the old standards   in various pots and  places, anywhere I can find room for a  pot or a  bag..lots of lettuce, carrots, onions, radishes, tomatoes, parsley, cilantro/coriander, rosemary, sage and thyme…yes, yes  of course  I sing scarborough faire  whenever I work with my herbs…never fails… you have to  right?  I also  try  some things  every year that never work out… but I keep trying them in different ways  in the hope that I’ll land on the   magic combination…I don’t  give up easily on things that I want!  The things I keep  trying,  but just don’t work out very well  are my cucumbers, zucchini and  squash…. I always get  fruit  from them but they suffer from  different  issues every year…  but like the gambler I am, this next time will be it! Just one more try and I’m SURE  I’ll  hit the jackpot!  Some things  I try  once  and   if it doesn’t work out I  make  the decision to try again or I weigh the   risks and rewards and   decide to try something else.. like Artichokes…   I  dislike  artichokes… not because they  taste  bad,  I don’t  mind the taste and I enjoy their hearts…  but  eating the  teensie tinnesie  bit of “meat” off the end of the leaf  just   ticks me off….I want a  BITE…there’s too much work involved  and not enough reward for me…  if it tasted  less like  grass and more like  rib steak I’d think about it  but they don’t…so I grew them one year, they didn’t  produce  I left them  as I was  led to believe they’d  come back and produce the  second year…they didn’t…. and now they are  gone, to make room  for more strawberries and blueberries 🙂  Sweet  candy of  nature that makes   jam and pancakes and cereal  yummy if you can keep from eating them  right off the bush…  patience is key….why didn’t I apply that patience to the  Artichokes….easy answer, Artichokes are mean…. Blueberries and Strawberries are  sweet!  This year in addition  to my “regulars”  and my usual  challengers,  I’m  trying  Parsnips,  they should be easy  really  the same  as Carrots and I  really like a  good  parsnip  puree on  occasion in place of  mashed  ‘taters….   I planted  half of this year’s  garden   last weekend  mostly the regular stuff:  Radishes,  lots of lettuce ( romaine and butter-crunch), celery, the ‘taters ( Yukon golds  this year), cucumber, zucchini and  squash, red and yeller onions and giant sunflowers….I  also have  a  few things  that  stay year-round  – green onions/chives and the  rosemary.

I even have one  stray  onion that  grows  on our back patio,  in a crack between the  house and the patio…he’s a lonlely guy  but he works hard to be strong and persistent and as much as it drive Christy  crazy  I let him be,  I  talk to  him and  encourage him, I don’t give him help , he does it all on his own… he’s been  knocked  down a few times  but he fights  back and I’ve learned to let him do his thing and  when I need him  he’s always there for me… I’ve   used his help on  baked potatoes or as  garnish when needed… here he is from today in all  his glory…

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I have a giant pot of  asparagus….ahhh the  asparagus  the  gift that keeps on  giving for a couple  days anyway…. that’s one of my “challengers” not the  day after,  that’s unavoidable…… the challenge I have with my ‘sparagus  is that it grows too  sparse and  too skinny…..  every year  it’s these skinnny  but tall  stalks and they bolt  quickly…  and I don’t know what to do … I had the  same trouble with  spinach  and I ended up  figuring that out  by moving it  from pots and bags to  the raised bed..they  calmed down,  spread out and provided  lots and lots of delicious iron rich spinach, my  son and I would  eat leaves right off the plant, I do  100% organic gardening which is another  challenge but it’s worth it! It’s a constant battle with the birds,  bugs and slugs and other critters but we manage and share… last year I tried  Brusselsprouts and  red cabbage …the bugs won those battles… I haven’t  decided on  the other half of the garden this year yet, it’s still early  spring…  there’s lots and lot’s of things I’d like to grow  but  I have to consider  the limited room and my wife’s tastes 🙂 I may  go easy  this year  as we’re also  looking for property  and may  move before the  year is out…. we’ll see…. so I’ll  leave you with a  few things…

1.  This post is about a lot more then just a simple  organic garden….please take more out of it than   face value….  you do reap what you sow, but  there is joy in the journey and  you should share the fruits of your labor with others   and not just people…. it’s  the circle of life and  about facing  life’s  challenges  about  taking risks and weighing the risk with the reward, about knowing when to let go or change  your strategy ..it’s about raising your  children and teaching …it’s  about everything….as everything is related… it’s  about gettin’ in touch with the earth  and yourself… and it’s about gardening…. it’s also about asking for help when you need it and not being too proud to ask (see #2)….but also  knowing when you need to just do it on your  own….like the lone onion on the porch…

2. I really  need help with my Asparagus  challenge….anyone out there and Asparagus  growing  expert? here’s a  photo of my pathetic ‘sparagus… they and I are screaming out for your help! I want to wrap several handfuls in bacon and  roast them…and pay for it the next day…and this isn’t gonna  cut it….. help me…please….help the ‘sparagus!!

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3. I also have   a couple fruit trees  that Easton started from seeds….Oranges and Lemons…they’ve  grown  so big in my office,  but I’m  scared to move them outside …any advice? I’d appreciate it!!  They are  3-4 feet tall  and  very healthy..should they go outside? HELP…….

As always my friends:

 Stay Safe, Be Kind, Keep the Park Clean, Pay it forward, Make a Difference and One Love! 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Life’s a Garden – The ‘sparagus needs your help!!!

  1. Hi Michael- Asparagus should not be picked until the 2nd or 3rd year so it can get bigger and stronger. It should be planted in the ground with fertilizer or cow manure or horse manure if your are going organic.

  2. I am NO HELP whatsoever with gardening, I can kill a plant just by LOOKING at it. I would love to have a garden, I love fresh produce, but I just don’t have the “gift”. I am the original “brown thumb”. Therefore I am a great customer of the farmers market when the season starts!!! Enjoy your garden Mike…you are growing a lot more there than just veggies…you are growing a family and a life!!! WTG!!!!

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