Gardener's Grapevine 2012.01.11

Written by David Green.

Sunday...a day of rest? It’s more like a day to be able to get back to physical mobility enough to make it through the workweek.

Saturday Art, Nick, my dad and I spent most of the day cleaning up the back corner of our property. It was, I am ashamed to admit, still a bit messy from last Memorial Day’s storm when the weather dumped its wrath on our poor little community.

We have quite a large piece of property, but most people don’t know it because we have it divided by fences because we have always had animals. I like to garden, and the two do not do well together. Most of the animals are gone now. There are no 4-H rabbits, and only our one dog instead of three, along with my dad’s two when he’s here.

There is really no need to pen in our dog as she is too old and lacks the ambition to tear up much of anything. Being female, her leg and toilet habits are really not an issue with the garden, so she spends next to no time in her fenced-in yard.

Last year we put the corn patch out there and the raspberries grow along the south side. The storm made a mess in the far northern corner of our property and some of the branches required a chain saw to clean up. In come the men in my family, I’ve never met a man who doesn’t like to use a chain saw. Power, danger, destructiveness, and noise—it has everything a male loves! If it could only stack the wood and haul the brush away, then I would be in awe of it also.

My son learned to use a chain saw and he and his grandfather, Bill Wollter, made short work of a big mess. They also cleaned up the fencerow and made a nice big pile at the curb so the city workers can have job security. I will let you in on a little secret: I’m getting old. I know this because after eight hours of hauling brush and raking, my body feels like I was in a fight and definitely lost. 

Many people know that I am a nurse and work in a doctor’s office. It is an extremely fast-paced place with many patients seen every day. I needed my Sunday this week more than ever as I can’t walk upright without feeling pain. I’m old, I tell you. I do this to myself every spring and summer with the gardening. I get so wrapped up in it that I forget tomorrow is another day and it doesn’t all need done at once, or so they tell me.

The ground was so soft yesterday I was able to pull the remaining corn stalks and Art harvested the rest of our carrots from the garden. I thought they would be burned from the cold, but nope, they are beautiful and very sweet. Must be like turnips—sweeter with age.

I read a magazine called Mary Jane’s Farm. The point of it is to get people to rethink the use of everyday objects so they don’t wind up in the garbage. Someone has some time on their hands as they come up with wonderful ideas, and the magazine is just full of them.

One item noted was starting seedlings for the garden. Since now is the time to be doing that, it was a timely article. The idea  was to use three or four empty toilet paper rolls cut in half and tied together and filled with potting soil to start seedlings. After the plants harden off and are ready to plant outdoors, just plant the toilet paper roll with the plants, as it is biodegradable. What a fabulous idea. It’s less expensive than peat pots, which usually have a difficult time breaking down anyway. I know I am going to give this a try, I just need some paper rolls. Doesn’t any one need to use the restroom around here?

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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