Joel is the most dedicated vegetable gardener I ever met. He is in the garden working almost every morning. I am going to make him a periodic feature of this site by keeping a log of what I see him doing as the year progresses.
I’ve been having some medical concerns that have taken up quite a bit of time and have not been able to give this site my usual dynamic endeavors.
The garden is rather large, I would guess at least a hundred feet square, and it is surrounded by a 9 foot high wire fence to keep out the deer. The last week in January, Joel asked me if I could build him a two part gate in the side of the wire fence. He wanted something more convenient to the house and he wanted to be able to either walk in or to drive his tractor in. So I built side by side gates. I took enough pictures for a gate tutorial and I will publish that later. Here’s the gate:
Joel has been working on his dirt for years. He is a great lover of organic matter and he believes in adding it as often as he can. He also grows green manure cover crops in portions of the garden that he is not using at one time or another and then tilling these crops in.
To give an indication of the effectiveness of this organic addition process, We had torrential rains on Jan. 30 and I visited Joel on the 31st only to find him planting onions. I think a normal garden would have been way too muddy.
Joel had been waiting for days on his onion set shipment. He finally got the granex onions which he explained were the variety used to grow the popular Vidalia onions. Joel is in his 70s but gardening keeps him young. He started out working, laid out the sets, and had them planted in no time. He mentioned something about needing to build him a root cellar one day.
Joel said that he had red onions and some other kinds coming. I’ll let you know what he does next.
The next thing I will be working on at the garden site will be to develop a six foot weed free border on the fence line that will make the transition from grass to garden a lot nicer, to lessen mowing maintenance, and to make room for flowers and collectibles. I will also do an entrance planting for the new gate. I love ongoing projects.
I lost my vocal cords a while back due to throat cancer. The laryngectomy sent me on a quest to find and learn to use my new, altered voice. I am able to talk now with a really small and neat new prosthesis.
My writing reflects what I have learned in my search for a voice. My site johnschulzauthor.com publishes a daily motivational quote and a personal comment.
I write an article a week for my blog, johntheplantman.com which deals with a lot of the things that I do in the garden.
I am also the author of Requiem for a Redneck and the new Redemption for a Redneck--novels portraying the lives and doings of folks around the north Georgia hills.
I have an English Education degree from the University of Georgia and very happily married to the lovely Dekie Hicks.
You may enjoy my daily Quotes and Notes at
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