29 January 2011

Return of the Dread Community Organizers

This weekend was an especially good one as the temps have gotten into the mid-50's (F) and the sky is a brilliant, cloudless, blue. Mr. Fuzzy and I spent most of today proactively fighting next season's weeds. He on the riding mower and I with mulch in the garden. The two sections off the hay field we had cleared of hawthorn trees are now well covered with "early colonizer plant communities."

Please allow me to translate that for you: brambles, invasive roses, and more hawthorn trees. One area looks as though we had it seeded in the thorny beasts! Mr. Fuzzy reports that much of the mowing has been done and that he is becoming quite skilled at getting the little mower/tractor un-hung from the many hidden holes the moles have left us.

Who needs weight machines when you can just lift your 750 pound tractor ten times a day?

Yesterday was almost equally lovely but with enough chilling wind to make it feel OK to find inside garden tasks. My big inside task yesterday was to attend the annual Seed Swap hosted by Miracle Farm at the Floyd Country Store. I am informed by our English friend B. that this must be a "peculiarity of the American race" as it "would never happen over this way." I think the Scots might go for it if pitched just right...

The setup is this: people who have leftover seed, extra seed saved from their own plants, or old stock seeds from retail shops bring their offerings and set them out on tables, hopefully with enough labeling to be helpful. The organizers provide tables, pencils, and little paper packets to hold your selections. Lots of people come and take as many seeds as they need for themselves and a good time is had by all. Folks are remarkably honest about only taking what they need.

I took our last remaining pumpkin from the 2009 harvest and a few dozen pumpkin seeds to give away. I wanted folks to understand that these were Good Keepers. The pumpkin has not left our kitchen counter since October 2009 and is still quite sound. I came back with a pocket full of packets of lettuces and herbs. Not a bad trade. Many folks managed to collect all the seeds on their list, helping them grow more vegetables than they could have afforded if they had to buy their seeds.

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