Gardener's Grapevine 2012.08.08

Written by David Green.

Art and I took three days to do the 127 garage sales with another couple even though it was unbelievably hot and they were spaced way far apart. It was a blast. I have never been much of a garage sale person, mostly because I have too much “stuff” as it is.

One thing we did find was another wire basket with a handle. If you’ve never used one, they work great for lots of things but the best is to harvest vegetables. They are sturdy so the bottom won’t fall out, light enough for anyone to carry when fully loaded (the basket, not the person) and they last season after season. If you come across one of these baskets they also have sturdy metal handles with a covered grip to keep your hands from hurting.

Gardening magazines charge $25 to $50 for them depending on size. Mine cost $1, making it well worth the trip. We won’t discuss the gas prices to go get it. Maybe it wasn’t a steal, but I’m still happy. 

When we left Wednesday for Cincinnati to start this excursion, the grass was still burned and the beans were one to two days away from being fully ready. When we got home, our lawn looked like a hay field. What happened?

Art and I decided we’d better go to the church Saturday evening after it cooled down and see if it needed mowing prior to services on Sunday. Art mows, I prune.  He started the mower, did one half pass and the mower died. We don’t own another mower and the church doesn’t have one. What to do? Put new gas in? 

Started and died, started and died, started and died. This went on quite a while. We put dry gas in and it started and ran a little longer, then died. My sweet-tempered husband was not looking so sweet-tempered.

I decided it’s God’s house and lawn, I’d ask for his help and sent up a little request for some assistance. He listened, but I think he misunderstood, “please help us with this situation” to mean I want to go home, as it started to lightning and thunder. I figured a lot of folks at church would inquire as to what was up with the lawn, but no one did. 

I would assume you all have gardens going crazy about right now. Mine is pumping out tomatoes like a regular little factory and everything else is coming along great, too. Our sweet corn did not produce well at all and I don’t understand why. I think I will do a little soil testing in the spring before planting again and see what is up. We watered it religiously and used new seed. It produced a meal’s worth of normal sized ears on the first planting and a meal’s worth of stubby well-filled out ears on the second planting. I’m not sure if it was the heat or if the soil is lacking something. I have a small soil testing kit, guess it’s time to use it. 

I said the beans really took off and I wasn’t kidding. One good thing we did this year was plant pole beans next to our new garden fence and bush beans below the pole beans. It worked out beautifully.  They are really easy to pick and they climbed the fence pickets without any assistance. I hope all your gardens are putting a huge bounty on the supper table.

  • 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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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