President “Bobby”: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
Chance: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President “Bobby”: In the garden.
Chance: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
(H/T to Ann of Althouse and the Venerable Meade)
Spring has arrived here at the Blaska Experimental Work Farm (and Penal Colony). Just a couple weeks ago, on April 18, we were getting snow here in Madison. Nothing is more hopeful and more inspiring than the green buds of spring, the smell of freshly tilled soil, and a shirt pocket full of seed packets.
For the 2018 growing season, the cruel overseer here at the Experimental Work Farm has ordered the unlettered field hands to try something new.
Our acreage is plagued by critters. The produce-growing fields already are protected from voracious rabbits by 14-gauge wire fencing. But no fencing will deter squirrels or the prolific gerbils. So, the cruel overseer had one of his Tom Terrific moments. In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, the boundaries of the Work Farm are the boundaries of the world wide web. Or vice versa, possibly.
The field hands, singing their simple folk songs (Kansas’ “Carry on my wayward son” is a favorite) were instructed to lay chicken wire fencing flat on the ground. The theory here (for you backyard agronomists) is that the wire will prevent squirrels from digging holes to bury their nuts and thus disrupting the growing fields. The Work Farm also postulates that gerbils (aka ground squirrels, chipmunks, ) will disdain walking on the wire.
Chicken wire has been laid atop seedings of zinnias, red beets, and radishes. Those were broadcast into the soil on Monday-Tuesday April 30/May 1. The fencing must be removed at some point or the root vegetables and the wire mesh will be trapped under the spreading foliage. Also, and we won’t be able to transplant the zinnias. The Work Farm broadcasts all its vegetables and flowers except for our prized green beans, which are planted along the perimeter of hoops made of hog wire. “The hoops of hope.”
In any event, beans must be planted deeper than beets and radishes. Those we spread on the worked soil, then rake into the soil, finally packing down with the flat end of the garden rake. As they emerge, they are thinned out as needed. No rows at the Experimental Work Farm (and Penal Colony). Maximizes growing space and crowds out weeds.
Scenes from the Experimental Work Farm on May 4:
Summer in the city
… back of my neck … There is, unfortunately, another sign that warm weather has come to the Emerald City. From Police Chief Koval’s daily crime report:
#10) NORTH: Disturbance – 11:38 p.m. [05-04-18] Officers were dispatched to a disturbance in the area of Wright Street. Officers arrived on scene to find 40-50 males and females fighting. It was a very chaotic scene with multiple people fleeing and generally uncooperative. Officers ultimately made contact with a suspect, a 28-year-old AAF, who was arrested for resisting and transported to jail.
Have they tried gardening? Hope all visitors to the Stately Manor enjoy the budding beauty of a warm May evening tonight. Hobbies, people!