By LYNNE IRONS
It’s happened again. I squandered many perfectly decent days this winter and never cut back some of the perennial beds. Now, snowdops and crocuses are pushing up through the debris. I am in the proverbial dilemma. Do I rake now and risk damaging the bulbs, or throw some mulch on the entire situation and call it a day?
Here it is the last day of February and I am trying to remember the last time we saw the sun. I am not one to complain about rain. I usually welcome it, especially this time of year. It washes away all the old, dingy snow. I have a question that has plagued me since childhood: why, after snow melts, does dog duty turn white?
At any rate the lack of sun is taking a toll on some of my baby seedlings in the unheated hoop house. Everything is cold and damp as well as becoming leggy. I have one good thing to say about the entire rainy last week. I am finally beginning to walk like a normal person instead of shuffling along in a pitiful manner to avoid falling on ice.
An anonymous person with a zip code in Westfield, N.J., mailed a copy of the Avant Gardener. It came from The Unique Horticultural News Service, Horticultural Data Processors, Box 489, NYC 10028. It was an eight-age periodical loaded with interesting information. There were articles about roses, stock, witches’ broom, witch hazels, asparagus, palms, little cabbages, ornamental strawberries, peanuts, crepe myrtles, winter storage crops and bees. One interesting item that caught my attention was this: onion trimmings from the country’s largest onion processor amounting to as much as 300,000 pounds of waste a day, now goes into an anaerobic digester to produce biogas which generates enough electricity to power 460 homes, saves the company $700,000 a year, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions 30,000 tons a year. How cool is that?
I was in Westfield, N.J., sometime in the late 1950s visiting my aunt Shirley Beadle. We loved her. We were allowed to have Coca Cola with her. We weren’t allowed it at home. My dad used it in the garage to take the rust off bolts.
A few weeks ago I recommended the Ruth Stout book The No Work Garden for the Aged, the Lazy and the Idolent. My friend Marie found a used copy for $40 online and saw a new one for over $200. Ruth would be laughing from the grave with this information.
I had a great conversation with Laurie at Pine Tree Gardens about the potato blight. She assured me that samples from all certified seed potatoes in the country are sent to Florida every year to be tested for presence of the blight. She also suggested not planting your own saved from last year’s harvest. Never one to follow suggestions, I think I will plant a few of mine in a wooded area far from any other gardens to test that theory. I did not have the blight on either my tomatoes or potatoes last year. Will let you know.
I had a busy week contacting my congressional representatives. If you have a copy of last week’s Gazette kicking around, notice Page Sixteen after Suzan Bellincampi’s column.
There is an article about the Farm to School Food Bill. I phoned William Delahunt’s office at 202-225-3111 and urged him to cosponsor a bill introduced by New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt for $50 million in mandatory funding for Farm to School food included in the Child Nutrition Act.
I also hand wrote a letter to our new Sen. Scott Brown. Among other things, I told him he would be hearing a lot from me.