Bill and I arrived at the King George Farmers’ Market this morning about 9:30 A.M.
We were directed to DeLaura Padovan who is the Market Manager. She asked if she could be of assistance and when I told her who I was — she greeted me like an old friend. I felt very welcome.
She took me over to the Master Gardener’s tent and introduced me to Mary, Clara and Linda. (Linda was the one who sent me the invitation via email to attend the Market.) All three women were instantly likable and I felt that I had known them all forever.
The next 2 1/2 hours flew by.
The market wasn’t crowded, but there were enough people to keep us busy.
A Bee Keeper thanks me
One lady came over to thank me for what I was doing to call attention to organic gardening. She (and her husband) have lost three bee hives recently. Bees — as I have explained in prior posts — can range about 3 miles from their hives. Her bees got into fields that had poisons on them and it killed them all. It’s been costly to replace them —- and there is always a chance that they will be poisoned again.
Sheila benefited from encouragement
I met Sheila, a lady who had already emailed me about how she could start over with her small garden. She had numerous problems — bugs being one of them. She did not want to use poisons anymore. I had already addressed the problems in an email to her and was happy to learn today that it had helped her. I suspect that she needed a bit of encouragement just as much as a few suggestions on improving the soil.
First Time Gardener Disappointed
Gregory and his wife, gardening for the first time this year, were not successful. The beans didn’t do anything, nor did the peppers or the tomatoes. They were disappointed naturally. I asked him about how he prepared his soil. He had a 4 x 8 raised bed that he had filled with some bagged soil dredged from the river bottom. And I think he may have said some bagged compost as well. I suggested he save his money and dig the soil and add leaves and straw or other forms of organic matter that he had access to.
Why Clara Became Organic
I asked Clara how she came to be organic. She said her parents had farmed as a livelihood and when her Dad retired and farmed just to feed the family — he went organic. She had attended college to become a doctor. She became a biology teacher instead and learned about how harmful all the chemicals are that are sprayed on food. She became an organic gardener.
Critter Problems were numerous
Lots of folks stopped to ask how they could solve their problems with deer. I said an 8 foot fence is about the only protection you can get. Bill — thinking he was terribly cute — suggested getting a bigger freezer. (If you don’t get that — just think about it for a while.)
One couple had gone to all the trouble to raise peaches (takes years) and the squirrels got everyone of them!! (Getting the numbers down is about the only solution for squirrels.)
Mary recently discovered that ground hogs can climb trees. Her husband comes home from work and lays in wait for the ground hogs. This is a great pro-active approach and the only way to prevent trouble and heart break in the garden. A ground hog can eat 1/4 acre of crops in one day! (I missed a lot of this conversation, but Bill had a wonderful time talking to Mary!)
I learned too that I’m not the only one that noticed “teenage” mockingbirds seem to be the delinquents of the bird world when it comes to finding ways to get inside the netting a gardener puts up to protect blueberries.
One of the highlights of the morning was meeting Gwynne who is 82 years young. What a lovely energetic lady! She said she had been reading the works of Rodale since 1956! All of us agreed that although Organic Gardening Magazine is not a total loss – yet —- it does not compare to the wonderful issues of yesteryear! (The other gardeners told me that Gwynne has one of the most beautiful gardens you’ll ever see! She does vegetables and flowers and knows all the Latin names. And – she does all the work herself. )
At one point Bill went to the truck and got his cap to keep the sun from hurting his eyes. One of the ladies noticed his original design on the cap and later asked me about getting two for her husband for Christmas. (I am happy to report that I’ll soon have that website ready. You can go there now — but I have yet to add the hats. I plan to do that this week. Bill’s main site for art is here.)
A Square Foot Gardener
Amanda and her husband just started gardening this year. They started with the square foot gardening and were not as successful as they had wanted to be. If I remember correctly (I didn’t write any of this down) — they added bagged compost, peat moss, and potting soil. I suggested digging the soil and adding organic matter and not adding anymore peat moss or potting soil.
Wanted to see Pictures of my Gardens
Before she left the table Amanda wanted to know if I had pictures of my gardens on my website. (Seeing is believing.) Here are few links, Amanda that will show you lots of pictures. Almost all my posts have pictures of my garden but these have lots.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Putting up tomatoes came up. From there my roasted tomato sauce came up. Linda — here are the links for my various posts on roasted tomato sauce.
Linda presented me some homemade snacks that DeLaura and her daughter had made. Also a cook book entitled King George Farmers’ Market Fields to Table Cookbook which I have already used tonight! The recipe is called Feta Bruschetta. Instead of French bread I substituted sour dough rolls. I cut them in half. Drizzled with olive oil and heated for 8 minutes. Mix crumbled organic feta cheese, minced fresh garlic, fresh basil. Sprinkle on hot rolls. Top with a tomato. Yumm— Thank you Linda!
I am so glad I was invited to attend this morning’s market. I enjoyed talking to everyone so much!
If you don’t have problems with ground hogs, squirrels, rabbits and deer — count your blessings. Most of the time we can handle the other stuff.
If you’ve learned to prepare your soil properly, continually add organic matter, and mulch your soil —- you’re way ahead of many I spoke to today — and are on your way to bountiful gardens even though some years might be better than others.
Organic Gardening is Easy, Effective, Efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.
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