Monday, May 3, 2010
Life on Lotus Island does not include living with gumbo! The thin ,stoney, acidic loam, with high drainage capacity, needs work of a different kind than the sticky gumbo of our storied past, on the Bald Prairie. In the early spring, before planting season in Kindersley, your best shoes had 2 pounds of gumbo on the soles that wouldn't shake off when you went to Sunday School. You had to use the mud scraper to get anywhere with gumbo removal.We always used it before we walked on the living room floor. There certainly was a reason we had wooden sidewalks in those days. Except, you wouldn't expect a kid to always walk on the sidewalk. Here, on Lotus Island, a mud scraper would be a foreign object of an unknown nature to anyone other than a stubble jumping refugee. It meant of course that a later planting season occurred on the prairies, particularly if the snow load was heavy and the ditches and dugouts were full. That was OK for us since the soil had a better tilth when it dried a bit. Curiously enough when we planted here on the Wet Coast in April and they, on the prairies, planted on May 24th, by the time in mid-July, the vegetable gardens in the prairie towns were way ahead of ours. Hot nights will do it! We never had running water in some of the towns we lived in, but with gumbo you could get away without watering as a general rule. Not always, but the soil was remarkable for water retention quality. There was no contest from the Wet Coast, to the Prairies, for ripened tomatoes, sweet corn, peonies and lilacs. Gumbo soil and hot nights produced!