Blooming that is, unless the cucumber beetles arrive first.
And arrive they have … “At first I thought they looked like big, yellow lady bugs.” Paul said, “Then I looked…
Shortly after we moved in to our current house, our then eight-year-old daughter, Stella, looked at the scraggly, empty lawn of her new home and asked, “Could we turn it into a food garden?” Stella’s food garden provides a little more than 15% of our family’s annual food. Many reading this will laugh, as our largest piece of antique farm equipment is a now 30-year-old rusty and rebuilt pale-blue wheelbarrow. But we look forward to our copy of Small Farmer’s Journal and page through the images of livestock, fields and crops with a curious and magnetic fascination as if it were an old family album, and this amazing feeling of connectedness to all the others who coax things from the earth in America had me pen this letter to all my brother and sister farmers.
While we visited the allotment, we all pitched in with a hoe or a trowel to remove some of the weeds, but we also took a little tour around the two-acre allotment site, sandwiched between a railway line and a sports field. I have always liked allotments; some people might see them as messy and untidy, with old pallets, wonky and fading sheds, plastic cups and food containers, wooden boxes, old CDs and other junk pressed into service to hold up netting, to shelter plants, collect water or scare the birds. But I like the variety and the fruitfulness, the ingenuity and attention, the money saving and the commitment, and I love the atmosphere of quiet and companionship as every allotment holder shapes their plot in the way they think fit.