It’s Out, or Almost

IMG_0335My new book of gardening essays, titled Crosspatch: Cranky Musings on Gardening in Rocky Ground has arrived at the printer, has been accepted, and proof copies will arrive October 15 – just in time for the holidays!
It’s 254 pages jam-packed with thoughts, notions, some wee bits of wisdom and loads of odds and ends on gardening as the valuable, healing meditative expression of hands in dirt and head in the clouds – a uniquely human effort that feeds both body and soul. It’s the total gardening me, guaranteed to be out standing in my field.
Those of you who followed my years-long gardening column in the West Plains Daily Quill and/or my radio essays “These Ozark Hills” will find some of these pieces familiar. They (no pun intended) cover a lot of ground. I can’t wait for you to see it, read it and let me know what you think!  The book will be available at a variety of outlets by Halloween or before. Or you can order an autographed copy from me.
cover for blog copy
Crosspatch: Cranky Musings on Gardening in Rocky Ground – order Crosspatch
Marideth

The History of Gardening – As Told By Marideth

IMG_0335Well, you’ll never guess what I’ve been doing. I’ve been spending these long hot afternoons, when the outside is not fit to be outside, in gathering up all the loose pieces of gardening commentery I’ve generated over the past decade and something, either from newspaper columns or blabs I’ve created for the radio – and putting them together in one place. Thinking I’ll make a book of them, and maybe an e-book as well. I’ve tried a number of things in a number of places over the years, and have learned a few things as well as discovered that some of the gardening knowledge I’ve held most dear just isn’t so. I’ll be posting a sample soon and you can tell me what you think of it if you like. It’ll be more musings than science, but I had fun going back through some of my experiences and reflections, and I hope you will too. Stay tuned.

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My Addiction – My Garden

IMG_0335I started this garden column literally decades ago, before there was an internet, actually, when I was a reporter at The West Plains Quill and we were doing our writing on those Tandy green-screen computers with no memory. That meant if you saved your story to disk and there was something wrong with the disk, you got to do it over. One day, after I’d been waxing eloquently in the newsroom about the wonders of my then current garden, I was handed the gardening page. I was delighted, because I have lots of opinions about gardening, as well as a passion for all things gardening, not the least of which is growing one. I lived in lots of places in my life, and have gardened whenever and wherever possible, including the most of a year I spent in New England and planted a garden I would never harvest. At my age, planting fruit trees are likely to come to the same result. I can’t help it. It’s an addiction.
The only thing that scratches the itch other than having my hands in the dirt is talking about it. And since I live alone with no close neighbors, I’m way more likely to be doing my talking in typescript, even digital typescript. So I’m firing up this long neglected blog space to scratch the itch, and natter on and on about gardening. I’ll tell about what I’m doing out there in the dirt, what I’m thinking about doing, or used to do, or may still do. And since number 3 on my addiction list is books about gardening, I’ll be talking about those as well. Join me, if you will.
Marideth

After a day-long session with blogger Sarah Denton

After a day-long session with blogger Sarah Denton, I finally managed to start putting up some photos. However they’re from earlier in the summer, July I think, and the garden has been through some major changes since then. The cucumbers are closed for the season, the beets are acquiring bottoms, and the fall peas are up and blooming their little heads off. Some things I will do again, others not so much. But over all this odd little garden has been one of the best I’ve grown, both in terms of how much was produced and how very much I enjoyed doing it.  Of course a life threatening illness will tend to make one a bit more appreciative. But my return to health, such as it’s been, can be directly attributable not just to the exercise, but to the lightening of spirit that comes with seeing nature work its miracles. Many a summer morning was spent with the first cup of coffee out next to the garden in a lawn chair, focusing on just one plant, or the light, or the breeze. My mantra changed from “Let me get through this day” to “I am blessed beyond measure.” More photos to come when they get back from the processor. And some garden thoughts that are more about the garden than about me. ‘Bout time, doncha think?

Marideth

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Strange weather these past days.

Rain and clouds, but a little too warm for mid-September. More rain this summer than in recent memory made for a productive garden, but one wonders if this is a fluke or signs of a real change that will last a while. I’m of two minds about it.

The ability to relax about using too much well water keeping the garden alive is good. But more trouble with mold and spoilage. I’m curious to see what fall will be like. Some prognosticators have said this winter will be characterized by heavy snow. I’d take that over ice, any day.

Marideth

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Well. Long time no blab.

In the meantime, summer has gone at a gallop and I’m now on community radio, KZGM.FM, Cabool, MO., where I have a gardening show, also called Crosspatch. What fun. I’m going to attempt to post some pictures of my little garden, but they will be more than a month old. More to come when I get the photos processed. I don’t have a digital camera. Sorry. This garden has given me plenty of tomatoes, almost enough green beans and way too many cucumbers (there’s a bushel of them waiting to be processed right now). Not that I’m complaining, of course. And did I mention chard, and eggplant, and peppers, and vast amounts (I’m assuming. They’re not dug yet) of potatoes. Best garden I’ve had in years. Anybody want to blab about containers, straw bales or small space gardening, give me a holler.

Marideth

Jumping The Gun!

IMG_0335Hm. Well, it seems I jumped the gun on offering a tour of the album. No photos yet on my blog, but you can see them at Moonmooring or wait until I get better at this. Here’s my cranky story. I was waylaid by illness this spring while attempting to start a new garden and didn’t get things planted in a timely manner or get the garden spot developed enough to hold all I wanted to plant. However, a former owner of my little farmette kindly left behind a cement shuffleboard court (they were from California — what can I say?) and I’ve used it to start a garden of straw bales and containers. The original garden has been given over to potatoes and greens, the wild kind, mostly. The strawbales are hosting a variety of eating, canning and drying tomatoes, along with two kinds of peppers, cucumbers, pole beans and an eggplant. In pots are horticulture beans, yardlong beans, chard, mizuna, and nasturtiums. Smaller containers hold rosemary, tarragon, English and Lemon thyme, tansy, rue, eucalyptus, lemon verbena, italian parsley, sage, lemon balm, garlic chives and basil.Everything’s doing nicely, thank you, helped along with weekly fertilizer and rabbit manure tea. All are watered by soaker hose. I use 2″ wide electrical tape to seal off areas of the hose that are not adjacent to areas I want watered, like between containers and such. It’s my first try at bales and I don’t know much about container gardening, but I’m loving the experiment and it seems to work no matter how much I screw up.  More to come about varieties, harvests and ephemera.

Marideth

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