Saturday, February 26, 2011

Order Among Chaos

Living in Wisconsin amid all the heated debate and protests over budgets and union issues, it is easy to see the world as possibly spinning out of control. Libya, Iraq, Bahrain, all seem distant. Their woes, though, seem capable of directly influencing lives here on a very local level. When I see the price of gas at the pump spike 16 cents in two days, I have to wonder where this is all going.

The answer is control what you can. So, plant a garden, or plant several!

Planting a garden to ensure a source of those perennial fruits and berries that might become expensively dear in the coming months and years just seems to make good sense. Good gardens all start with a plan. Start first with your goals for your garden. Make a list of those foods you really enjoy. Get real and include only those that grow well in your zone. Consider those that grow well for you and could make up a large part of your diet. Consider how many people you intend to feed.

Good gardens also include a plan. There are excellent planning tools available at

I already have included several perennial edibles into my yard landscaping. I have a Honeycrisp apple, a Moorpark apricot, a Seckl pear, blackberry canes, rhubarb, and blueberries. I have chives growing everywhere, and a number of other herbs including lavender as well. I bedded our two types of garlic last fall. I picked 20 quarts of strawberries off a 5' x 8' bed growing around my grape fencing which yielded approximately 20 pounds of grapes last fall.

This year, I am starting a co-op garden with my brother and sister-in-law. I think we all have the same goals. We want to control our food sources, what goes on those foods during the growing cycle, and possibly save some money in the process. We are dividing out the work and cost depending on what each of us can bring to the project. Having the knowledge and two 5-foot tall light racks, which I built myself, I am starting the seed for our transplants. They are supplying the garden space, because I have a tiny yard. My brother, being the "chain-saw carpenter" will, with my son's assistance, build some raised beds and enclosed garden areas to defend our labors from critters.

I have already planted seeds for many of our cool season transplants. They are up and growing. We are big on tomatoes, so they are next to be planted.

Seeing those tiny plant babies has given me a sense of some sort of control over some of the bigger issues facing our world. It starts on a very local level.

Plant a seed.

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