By Jannie Vaught
A real roller coaster ride for those who garden. One day you’re in a cloudy sky with tolerable humidity and garden tending is moving along. Then it so hot you’re out very early with the soaker hoses going and hand watering the fruit trees so they can finish their fruit cycle. I am not a climatologist, just a very dedicated weather observer. I have no science training to know if we are heating up or cooling down. As an everyday gardener and outside almost all day every day I see very ” Weird fluctuating” conditions.
Yesterday I harvested some Silver Queen Sweet Corn, Also a bumper harvest of Heritage tomatoes, Picked herbs like Basil and Tarragon. Along with Sunflowers for an inside bouquet. All after we had the Worst Freeze in Texas. This killed plants and trees, took out our water and power, Left many of us wondering ” how did this happen?” We are recovering and I am hoping we are better prepared for anymore “Surprises”. This takes me back to growing food for additions to our purchases. This brings me around to habitat loss after this event. Loss of Oak trees for instance and many trees such as Figs that did not make it. If we learn anything from this, I hope it is not to forget, and continue to restore ,repair and prepare for tomorrow, whatever that brings. I am working on having all the necessary tools, seeds, training, plumbing supplies and insulation I can. I even have a box of used fittings and pipes that can be used if need be.
One of my Big questions is, am I supporting the Natural habitat as best I can? And can I grow more food to supplement our needs? Un-lawning has been a movement across the world. Using a lawn for growing food. It is a challenging way to Re-Think. Can it be done in a balanced way to provide lawn surface for play and outdoor use with areas for Native flowers, grass and areas for food growing. Providing a little Habitat for everyone. I was given 2 old metal stock tanks that the bottoms were gone and were going to the dump now they are filled with layers of wood, compost and soil to grow food, flowers and herbs. and they are under trees with partial shade. The paths are mowed for walking and we have an outdoor table for sitting. I use a Green lawn mower that is electric and we use our solar for power. There are battery-operated mowers and trimmers also, they are raised to the highest the blade will go and sometimes I catch the trimmings for green compost and sometimes I “Chop and drop” and do not use to catcher.
Is this Re-thinking and shifting the way we use our land beneficial?
For The Threatened Bees and Butterflys and Horned Toads that is a Yes.!
For the growing of food that is a Big Yes!
I see the hardest part is the application. The re-thinking. I started just a little every year. I started with Buffalo Grass and a few years ago there was a financial incentive from the city to install rain water collection, soaker hoses and timers and the planting of native grasses and plants. This was the “Kick starter” for me. These next few seasons more design changes are planned but like everything else I am again watching the weather play some new trick! But One thing if for sure. It is a fantastic gardening time; I have never had bigger tomatoes more fruit hanging from trees than this year. Even my poor pear tress is hanging full of pears.
Thats the way it is with gardening, always a surprise!
Re-thinking and Growing Green With Jannie