Monday, March 26, 2012

A Day At The Beach

Despite the warm temperatures in the city, or rather because of them, a strong onshore flow had developed. The temperatures at the beach farm were in the low sixties. A great day for hunkering down close to the soil.

Nettle, clover, and assorted grasses bearing down on garlic's wall.

The garlic is growing two or three inches a week now. I spread my remaining corn gluten (that's the yellow stuff) for its easy-going nitrogen, and had almost forgotten its seedling-suppressing ways as I began to sprinkle some onto my mixed green sprouts. Tragedy closely averted.

Speaking of seedlings, I have to mention how difficult cilantro always has been for me to grow, yet here it has self-seeded all over its quadrant of the beach farm. The white powder on the leaves is drift from last weekend's fish bone meal. It hasn't rained at all and there is still no water to wash the leaves clean.

A few swiss chard have survived the winter quite well.

The greens mix, scattered haphazardly two weeks ago. The only thing slowing it down is the lack of moisture.

These are the Allium vineale I pulled from the fields around the garden last fall. They've started to size up, but nowhere near the size of the vineale I see in the woods around the city. They curl in the open sun, unlike the woodland population.

And, on my walk around the greater garden I noticed this splotch of brown.

A closer look revealed the ants. They've been active quite early this year.

And so have the other community gardeners. I was visited by friendly neighbors and gardeners I've never met. Lots of complaint about the tilling in October, and opinions abound about all corners of our lot. I met, for the first time, the harborer of miracle-gro soil sacks by the dozen. She was fenced-in, much as her garden is, and had many things to lob over it. She blamed another gardener for the tilling idea, and then offered her strategic device for derailing it -tilling chops up the worms. I have at least a few good reasons not to till, but that wasn't one of them. Yet, she encouraged me to stick to her ploy, disparaged the idea of new pvc pipes (said they will crack), and said roofing rubber is the best thing ever to cover your plot with (she had tried tar paper!). I didn't worry her with the notion of pulling weeds.

Another gardener whom I've never seen, but has a plot two away from us came to complain about another's plot that he felt had too much garlic. He doesn't like garlic that much and simply couldn't understand why someone would grow so much. He belabored the issue, and I held my tongue. Ahh, community.  I couldn't organize this bunch with a baseball bat, and wouldn't even try. 


  1. I am more and more confused by the Allium vineale. The curly tails??? Never seen that in the woods.

  2. Did you dig up the Allium vineale from the woods and replant it in your plot?

    1. Ellen, indigenous it up from the surrounding fields. The woodland stuff isn't as visible in November as the field vineale. I would need to mark the woods stuff and then seek them out. That said, I think this is a one time experiment.

    2. Stupid autocorrect. That was dig it up, not indigenous.

  3. Just saw the curly tails in Pelham Bay - full sun like yours.

    I thought you were making a clever plant joke...


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...