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Pink Brutus Knits
indianapolis, in
usa

www.pinkbrutus.com

Blog

"Around the Farm" (or "Around the Garden")

courtney spainhower

joining farmama again this week!

i don’t think i’ve ever really described my “gardening” technique here… and really, it’s because i don’t have one.  my garden is a complete mess.  really.  i weed slowly and i don’t till anything.  at the end of the year, our plants are left as they are and in the early spring i go out to assess the damage of winter.  i yank out any plant skeletons that are still standing and throw soil, compost, and manure all over everything, cover it all with dry leaves saved from fall, and ignore it again until i’m ready to plant.  really scientific, i know.  my idea of fertilizing is dumping more compost and manure on everything.  i water only when things are looking particularly dry and i try my best to let nature take it’s course.  obviously, this garden doesn’t support my family financially so all i have to loose is the simple pleasure of harvesting for the dinner table.

THE MESS

it’s pretty hard to tell what’s going on here, but i have a keen eye!  when i look into this haphazard mess, this is what i see:

bush beans, mae’s corn, broccoli, bib lettuce

jalapenos, peas, tomatoes, and radishes bolting (mmm radish beans)

we have two types of strawberries - one variety (??? bought so long ago i couldn’t tell you) produces small berries, but in huge quantities.  the other produces huge berries, but in smaller quantities.  we love them all equally, of course.

GUERILLA GARDENING

i’m sure everyone has heard of guerilla something-or-another… guerilla knitting, guerilla gardening, what ever… my garden is the master.  there are things growing in this little patch that have found their way all on their own.  pictured here: chamomile, mint, sunflowers, tomatoes

last year i had herbs in pots all around the main garden.  the only one that thrived was the chamomile.  everything else stayed very small, and/or died early in the season.  i was VERY discouraged.  this year i decided i would plant an ALL herb garden on the side of the house where they could dig deep for water, spread and flourish.  so, where are the pics of my gorgeous herb garden??? they don’t exist because nothing is growing in it!!!! UGH!  these herbs… i’m telling you.  

however, something magical has happened in the main garden.  as i weed, i find mystery plants.  the chamomile i never planted is HUGE and flowering every day.  i’ve been harvesting this gorgeous plant daily for at least a week.  then, i was just telling my mom how sad i was that i didn’t plant any mint this year because i’ve had a taste for it every day.  i finally just bought some fresh in the produce section of the grocery store.  no joke - that day i was weeding in the garden and found FIVE mint plants growing.  WHAT THE???? it’s crazy.  there are little tomato plants growing all over the place in there, too.  the best little guerilla plant this year though has to be those darned sunflowers.  i posted at the very beginning of the year that i was “weeding” them because they were popping up everywhere - even in the lawn.  but the ones growing in the cracks of the driveway take the cake.  for sure.

alizah suggested i leave things as they are and just see what grows next year.  “it’ll all be a surprise garden next year!”  you know… it’s not too bad of an idea ;)

so, that’s our little patch. the dill and cantaloupe are thriving and the raised bed/cold frame seems to be a success.  can’t wait to do this again next week!

in other news, we paid mare a visit yesterday.

her littlest one woke up from his nap prematurely and ran into the back room looking for his mama.  i was sitting at the computer and through sleepy eyes i fit the bill.  he jumped into my arms and fell right back to sleep.  it gave me an opportunity to soak up some sweet snuggles and take pics of the girls working.  i’m an isolated crafter - and am quite shy to be truthful.  if you’ve met me you’re probably laughing out loud right now at the thought of me being shy, but i swear it.  i can’t imagine going to the spinning or knitting groups and forcing smiles and nods.  BUT, watching mare and faux work was lovely.  there is something inherently beautiful about women working together - crafting, cooking, pinning, snipping…

how nice to visit friends on a wednesday!  HA

i’m not sure i’ve completely accepted this new phase - it might all just be a dream.  right now, the bread dough is rising, the dishwasher is humming, the coffee is hot, the girls are playing, the fan is gently blowing drawings and paintings i have pinned to the wall, and it all feels good.  i’ll work a little on a new knitting project i casted on last night, and i’ll plow through some laundry, but we don’t have a routine.  in time i think some routine will evolve, but we aren’t necessarily routine people.  

i know every single thing out there will support it’s importance for children and i agree (for the most part), but i know that rhythm works better for us.  the ebb and flow, subtle changes, the surprise day to (insert destination) is what keeps us going strong and happy and thoughtfully.  i guess i could compare it to taking a different route to work once and a while.  most people drive (or walk or ride) the same route every day and their brains go on auto-pilot.  if you take a left at moller instead of reed?  you wake up!  your brain turns back on and you begin to think and look and find things.  i’d like our days to be like that.  i don’t want to “get through” or slip into a routine where our brains go on auto-pilot.  i want to be awake!