Columns

Gardener's Grapevine 2015.08.05

By JO ERBSKORN

Well, this past week was a good one in the garden. The raccoon deterrent from The Anderson’s may have smelled really bad, but it really worked. The second picking of sweet corn ripened and is very delicious, and there’s not a raccoon in sight either, which is a plus. I love fresh sweet corn and it’s always such a treat every year.

Last week the beans were blooming like crazy and when we weren’t looking they grew like mad. It’s this time of year when all the vegetables are ripening that dinner is such a pleasure.

The tomatoes have been slow to join the party, just a few here and there, but not enough to can yet or even share.

Last weekend I was over at our neighbor Mary Johnson’s house. Mary has a way with flowers and landscaping. Everything she plants goes crazy. A few years ago she lined her front approach with yellow day lilies, impatiens and a few other mixed plants. One thing she planted that really caught my eye as it was in full bloom, was a grouping of black eyed Susans and tall phlox. It’s a very nice combination and she has them front and center as you approach the walk from the drive.

Ever notice how some folks just seem to always have a green thumb, while the rest of us plod along trying different things hoping for success?

There is a source that has been around for years that my Uncle Dwight always used and now I find myself reading from time to time: The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Did you know you can read it online? There are all kinds of interesting things on the site. Today I read a great article on repurposing old things and using them to decorate the garden. The home section has many “of the day” links, such as question of the day, advice of the day, puzzle and word of the day, and today in history.

There is a weather section, a long range seven-day forecast, weather history, weather reference charts and weather articles. Another section is Moon and Astrology with about ten different links.

I like the gardening section the best.  This section has an online garden planner, best planting dates, how to use the moon to plant, organic gardening tips, a pest and disease library, resources, and a seed swap forum. Talk about awesome— this rocks my world!

There is a section titled Best Days that really piqued my curiosity. The links are interesting: best fishing days, best planting days by the moon, zodiac profiles, wedding planning, calendar and holiday articles, astrology articles, a daily almanac podcast, and your birthday fun facts.

The cooking section has a ton of recipes, tips, conversions and substitutions and a cooking blog and recipe forum. There is a home and health section with everything from beekeeping to natural remedies and children to pets and housekeeping. There is even a seasonal crafts section.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been around a very long time and many farmers still read it. I can remember seeing it when I was a small child and hearing farmers comment on it. As I read it online I wonder what my great grandparents would have thought of reading it on an iPad. I think it would have fascinated my great-grandma, Hila. She was always interested in new things. She was alive in horse and buggy days and as a farmer’s wife she saw many changes in our world over the 90 years she was alive. Computers were not one of them. Who would have thought that the Old Farmer’s Almanac would be on the web?