Friday, October 22, 2010

Interesting Ideas for the Upcoming Garden Season

I've been looking into permaculture a bit recently.   There is really a lot of good information out there on the internet just for the cost of the time to find and study it. I started from ground zero as far as knowing anything at all about it, and I've learned enough to feel confident about doing some new things in my garden this year.  

One of the things I've learned about is "no till gardening", or "sheet mulching", also known as lasagna gardening.  There's a really good article at Ready Nutrition, which is a wonderful blog I follow, on the subject of no till gardening.  I'm glad I have learned about this now so I can get it started over the winter and begin experimenting with it all in the spring.  Journey to Forever has an online library with lots of good information as well.  There is so much more, but I can't list them all.  This is just a starting place.

Essentially, it's a plan to build your soil layer upon layer, as you would mulch, and as it would in nature. For instance, a forest, everything falls to the ground in layers throughout the seasons to create a rich, complex soil.  If you have a compost bin and build your own mulch, it's much the same process.  There's a good explanation of the process here at another great blog, Permaculture Pathways.  You have a layer of green/wet, such as plant material or kitchen scraps,  followed by a layer of dry/brown, such as newspaper and leaves as well as a few stick and bulky items to keep the whole thing aerated. I have always put a few shovels of dirt between layers, but I don't know that that is necessary.  You can add bacteria and enzymes as activators, even worms, but nature's magic will take over and you will have good, healthy dirt.  If you layer your garden in that same way you should attain the same results.  Come spring you just plant right through the top layer, as a seed falling to the floor of the  forest.  

God is so good.  He amazes me.  It's not new information, not by a long shot. God gave it all to us in the beginning.  It's wisdom of the ages that's been all but lost in modern culture to things like science and the educators who know so much more, after all.  I am sure it will take some time,  maybe several growing seasons to come into it's own, but eventually, if I allow it to go to this 'more natural' state, it stands to reason that it will strike a balance. During the process I will learn what to do to adjust for some of the bad things in my garden.  I'm sure I'll be dealing with over populations of certain bugs and weeds.  I will learn about the things I need to grow to attract the good ones and repel the bad, but I can clearly see the sense it makes already.  I will be doing this from now on.

Our growing season is long here, so I still have plants in the ground.  They are starting to die back for the most part, and many of the rest aren't producing much now, so I'm going to get out there and start preparing things.  I may get rid of the tomato plants next week. I still have a few with some green tomatoes on them, but they aren't ripening.  I don't think they get enough hours of sunlight now, or maybe it's a warmth issue.  At any  rate, I'm going to pick the green ones (and maybe fry them!  Mmmm...) and pull the plants soon. Tomatoes are particularly nasty to work around if you let the frost get to them.  I planted them in such a huge mass that I will have to get some of them out of there entirely.  The rest I suppose I will chop up and leave as a layer.  

Our melon and squash vines were practically decimated by mildew.  I have to pull them off of the fences, but they are half dead already. Mildew is a terrible problem, and it's grown all over my entire garden.  It's in the soil. For a long time I meticulously trimmed off the infected leaves and vines, and sprayed and fussed, but it got ahead of me no matter what I did, so unfortunately, underneath all the layers in both of my garden areas there is mildew. I know there must be some in the compost as well.  I think I'll try to get the worst ones out and then just go with what's left.   Hopefully if I use this method of gardening the temperatures of the composting going on in the different layers will be enough to kill off the darn stuff.  If not, I would have had to contend with it anyway, because it's in the soil that's already there.  I wish I had a good answer for how to deal with this stuff. It is a nightmare in a garden.  I'm confident that God factored that in to His grand design and that there is restoration in there someplace.  

I have plenty of fallen leaves, papers and things, dry stuff for the next layer.  My husband brought home some big sheets of cardboard to lay across the whole thing.  It all seems so strange because it's contrary to what I've always been told to do.  I will try to document the goings on and post some pictures.  I'm pretty excited.

"And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how." ~ Mar 4:26-27 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blogging For Dummies?

Remote hosting seems weird to me.  If I want to do a podcast I have to find a remote host for the audio. I already do that on Xanga, and I can blog there, so why wouldn't I just switch from Blogger to Xanga?  I'm not crazy about Xanga, but, hey... it  works.  If, on the other hand, I were to pay for a remote host why not just pay for a personal site that does all of that?  This is sort of confusing.   I'm not the tech geek of the house.  Maybe I should post the audio at Xanga and link it here like I do my music.  It shouldn't be this hard.  Or maybe it isn't hard, but I'm just confused.  LOL  Stranger things have happened.


I love the shorter days of fall, with their lengthening shadows and the low hanging clouds.  There is a whisper of tranquility on the winds of autumn, and a pledge of rest.  

We have been blessed with several days back to back of chill winds dotted with an occasional thunderstorm delivering relief from the long, last days of summer.  It is a rare and welcome gift here in the Mohave desert.  Seeing the Hualapai Mountains, dark against a sliver of open sky, with their shoulders wrapped in thick shawl of gray, hints of cozy evenings and time at home with my family.  My heart has a familiar, wistful aching to return to a place it can never go and to a time that is gone forever. Memories of comfort and care like the fragile clouds spill across my mind until reality, like the peaks of the mountains, nudge back their misty edges.

It is not sad, as it might sound, but more joyful, like the comfort of an old dog knowing that in it's end there is completion and fulfillment.  It has faithfully loved and served.


My first attempt at a word picture.  I feel kind of silly, LOL, but I guess you have to start somewhere.   I see other people do it and I like it SO much when it works, and in my imagination I can really see it.  I just tried to do it backwards and I started with what I see. The music helps.  :/

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Think I Will Try Something New

I've been a terrible blogger.  I read so many wonderful blogs that others write and I feel like I'm so far out of my depth that I just all but stopped blogging entirely.  So many people are actually doing things worth writing about, things I want to do, and plan to do.  That's all I'm doing -- planning -- and that mostly in sort of a nebulous, way out there, one of these days kind of a way.  I just felt like I had nothing to offer.

Personally, I don't like wasting my time sorting through or worse, realizing half way through that I am reading a crummy blog.  I had a few people who subscribed to my blog and I felt sorry that they were probably hoping for interesting or informative content and all they were getting is, well, my blog.  I used to like blogging, but it became a weight and a chore, eventually a source of stress.  My own advice to others has always been that when you're too busy or feeling pressured, start thinning out things you can afford to live without, things that wont make or break anything crucial if they are put on a back burner.  So I let my blog go.  Bad idea.

I'm a creative type.  I  like to dream and draw and paint and imagine new things.  I have a zillion and one equally bad reasons why I don't do any of that, most having to do with space or lack thereof.  I  think I decided to start blogging in the first place as sort of an outlet for my otherwise shelved creativity.  I need an outlet!  Blogging only takes up as much room as my  laptop. It's my very best short term choice.  I don't want to not blog.  I also don't want to be someone who just gets on and posts some boring narration of my daily activities.

Then it dawns on me.   A lot of the blogs I read and enjoy are talking about things they are doing, and things they love, that just happen to be things that I am going to be doing and that I love.  But I'm not doing them yet, so what am I doing that I love? I've been so head over heels in love with what I plan to do that I never even let it cross my mind that I could blog about something I am already doing.  Silly, I know, but it just didn't dawn on me.

So  I thought I'd try to sort of bend the direction of my blog to include my greatest passion, preaching the Word of God.  I'm a preacher, a  minister of the Gospel.  I am called to preach and I'll preach all of my days. I planned on having a ministry website at some point, but I never considered putting it together with something I already had established.  I'm not sure how well thing will mesh, and I'll continue posting bits of other things as well, but why not include my ministry?

I have loads of things to write about all  of a sudden!  I have passion for it!  It will be not only a therapeutic outlet for my pent up creativity, but also a time for me to 'preach' when I'm not preaching.   Even if it's not a great 'read' for my subscribers, once again I'll be having a good ol' time!  I hope it rubs off.

I found the instructions on how to add audio to my page, so I will start posting my sermons as soon as I can figure it all out.  I preach several times a month, not every week, but usually two to four times, so I can start incorporating it all slowly as I learn.  I hope my vast audience will stick with me as I blaze this new trail.  I'm kind of excited about it!

Be blessed!