Saturday, November 13, 2010
Home grown vegetables.
Home growing vegetables is usually a bust, I am sad to say! The cost-benefit ratio is,in the hands of the home gardener, a disaster. I like to say," I spend 10 dollars to grow a dollars worth of vegetables!" I am aware that this point of view will spur fury amongst the committed and I will be accused of egregious incompetence by the seed catalogue producers, presently mailing their colored pictures, and their devotees, but I have to come clean. I have tried my best every year, mostly for forty years. I have read, studied and inwardly digested the books of the great vegetable gardeners and tried their techniques. Arthur Willis, Bill Vander Zalm, W. G. Smith, Dr. D.G Hessayon, Jill Severn, Bernard Moore, and Marjorie Hunt. I have subscribed to Rodale's publication, Organic Gardening and the Ortho publications. All to no avail! I have grown everything from salsify to stevia, from peas to potatoes. The occasional success is not worth the effort for me. There is a solution to get the great taste of the home grown organic vegetables that will cost less in the end. My farmer daughter has organically farmed vegetables for 20 years. It is hard work. She is exceptionally knowledgeable and full time plus. She can make a living but it's a tenuous thing. She does it because she loves it and sees safe food production as an essential in a world that is spinning out of control! Lotus Island has a salubrious climate that allows both winter and summer vegetable growing but it is also kind to many of the pests. Carrot fly, leaf miner, cabbage butterfly, cut worm, a myriad of fungi,rabbits,slugs sow bugs and earwigs.Waterlogging, tomato blight, unexpected frost, and a sorry lot of other enemies combat you. If you love it anyway, then bring your Remay, your fibrecloth, your little collars for the cole crops, and your lumber for the raised beds. Bring your compost, and your slug bait, and Rotenone. Not me! I'm sticking to Rhubarb and Globe Artichokes in the vegetable crowd and growing ornamentals. We'll buy our vegetables from the organic marketers. It's easier on the budget and you won't need Hope Springs Eternal.