Monday, July 23, 2012

I LOVE to Grow Food!

Day 171
The Daily DuBrule

A few weeks ago my husband and I were at a gathering. As the talk turned to gardening, Tony said something that surprised me. He commented that he thought what I really wanted to do was be a farmer! He explained that I am happiest on Sundays puttering around in my vegetable garden. You know what? He's right!

Back in the 70's, I had dropped out of the liberal arts program at UConn. I had fallen into what my brother and I called "the existential abyss". Nothing seemed to make sense. I knew I had to have a career and be able to support myself- those were the days of women's lib and I embraced the concept- but I wanted to do something meaningful. I came up with growing organic food. Everyone who knew me was surprised. I had never gardened before nor expressed an interest in gardening until I was 20. I enrolled in Rackliffe Hicks and I was launched.

Long story short, I ended up majoring in floriculture and I have been designing, installing, and selling flower gardens ever since. But always, in the back of my mind, I wanted to have the food garden I dreamed of in my youth. My first real food garden was when I lived in Mt. Hope apartments in Willington. Down the hill, on the corner of my street, was Harakaly's farm. I asked him if I could rent a space for a garden. He gave me a giant area. Then he brought me into the dilapidated chicken coop nearby, waaaay in the back, and showed me a pile of what looked like brown dust. It was really old dehydrated chicken manure. "Use this" he said. And I did! I made huge vats of manure tea. Oh did it smell, but oh was it potent. In my first real garden I grew GIANT vegetables of every kind. I canned. I froze. I gave food away to everyone I knew. 

After my business got going, I was way too busy to have a vegetable garden. Plus, I lived at the beach, in the shade, on a rocky hillside. So, 21 years after starting Natureworks, when I moved to Middletown, I was WAY overdue for my next real garden. 

Yesterday I made up a batch of fertilizer tea. I took a bag of Dr. Earth Organic Vegetable Fertilizer and dumped it into two 5 gallon buckets. I let it sit for 24 hours. Today, I proceeded to water my tomatoes, cucumbers, and melons with this strong tea. I brought me right back to those days on Harakaly's chicken farm. Believe me, this had nowhere near the smell of that chicken manure tea. Flies didn't chase me and I didn't have to take off my clothes before entering the house. I learned my lesson long ago. But the process of making fertilizer tea and watering my plants with it made me very happy to be growing a big food garden once again. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Nancy!

    You know, I've never once thought about making a fertilizer tea for my flora and fauna outback. When I date back to it, neither did my mother! Haha. You've given me a new found power for my garden. I agree though, too, there is nothing like growing your own edibles

    -Carlos Hernandez
    Tree Removal Queens