Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This past weekend I attended the Organic Gardening class with UC Extension.  Again, this class, although four hours long, was just a dusting of what I’ve read.  I remember I had read a few years ago, Rodale’s Organic Gardening book among many more which I got from the library.  That book was great.  It was very thorough, easy to understand and had great photos.  I looked to see what the current edition sold for.  It was about $30.  If I ever get a plot of land to work on, I’d probably purchase that one.

The Master Gardener that held this class was an elderly lady, bless her heart, who was in a bent forward position throughout the class.  I believe she may have had artificial hips.  She tried to sit down after about two hours of standing, but that didn’t seem to work.  You could tell she was in pain as she was constantly holding her back and hips.  I was afraid she was going to fall or trip over a chair or table’s legs.  Since her voice was so frail, she had to wear a speaker which was strapped around her waist.  That thing kept screeching from time to time, which also added to the confusing presentation.  She kept misplacing things, like papers, books and her pen which also added to the diverted attention and concentration for me.  People left at intermission, and I can’t say that I blame them.  When it came time to show a DVD about a very elderly farmer and how she farmed in her day (early 1900s) and at the time the film was taken, she was about 90 years old, the DVD ceased to work after about five minutes.  The film started out very interesting and we all wanted to see how this old timer farmed.

The food spread this time was OK with less food, but still very nice.  However, when I arrived to go back to the place I had the week before, the two gay men were already there sitting in their place and all along the folding tables, across from each seat was a 4” plant one of the other Master Gardeners had brought.  Boy, she must have been transplanting for a week.  There were probably 100, four inch plants sitting there with a little Easter themed suckers of bunny rabbits or little porcelain or wood Easter themed chotskis.  At the end of the class, many people didn’t take theirs or there were too many set out, so they said you could take as many as you liked.  I grabbed four of them.  One was said to keep Aphids away from your garden, so I grabbed one of them.  One had no flowers at all on it, but the other two had a coral flower and a purple flower.  I thought when I got to my van to go home, I should go back and get a few more, but decided against it. 

I went down to Home Depot, purchased a large pot and saucer and a $1.00 bag of potting soil which was on sale at K-Mart.  Free plants, but a $12.00 investment.  All the while I was saying to myself that I had so many nice pots down at my ranch and here I am buying another one.  Oh well.  I just have to get my gardening hands going.  It’s just something I feel I need to do to get at least a feeling of being able to garden in my own garden some day.

The Master Gardener who had donated all of these plants was a Native American Indian who made a point of when planting these specimens to tear off the flower heads, which she did, with a large gasp of the audience.  I haven’t torn the heads off yet, but will do it when I plant them in my new planter.  She also explained how she planted corn, beans and a couple of other plants in a circle and how one supports the other as they grow.  This was a great idea that everybody was ready to try.  I believe I read about that technique somewhere.

Since the weather here had another frosty dip in temperatures for a couple of days, the two gay guys had planted tomatoes, a for sure plant to really be affected by the frost.  But since they live down the hill, they didn’t get affected at all they said.  However, as I was shopping at Wal-Mart's gardening section, there was a man there that said his tomato plants just looked horrible that morning and is hoping that maybe they’ll come back.

While I was at Home Depot, I went through every gardening aisle there was and just combed practically every shelf there was.  From soil testing kits, pellet seed starters and ready made raised gardening beds with a plastic green house at one end. That was about $189.   I figured I would buy the raised planters which you just put together instead of buying and cutting the wood and drilling screws into the wood.  It was a 10 foot by 4 foot kit for around $36.  It also was very nice looking too.

But all I can do for now is dream on…………….

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