Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

January 25, 2018 Spring often offers an early fling or two
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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It’s good to have a few warm weather spells popping up every so often during the long winter months to further the feeling of spring being on its way.

We all probably look forward to such events, not so much because of the need to clear away the leftover residue of a harsh winter, but for what it is – the reassurance of life’s everlasting promise of renewal.

The feeling was increased even more strongly for me last week when my mailbox “birthed” a seed catalog. I didn’t even know it was expecting. Last year, several catalogs arrived, but since I didn’t ordered from them I didn’t think I would to see any offers this year.

At least somebody is hopeful, which is encouraging.

Even though I will never have a garden like the ones I used to have, I plan on something happening. What it will be is idling in the deciding and planning stages for the moment, but a hint is:

I have a collection of large flowerpots – so instead of plowing up the soil of a rapidly shrinking garden space, the pots will move in and take over residency. How that will work remains to be seen.

The pots are the results of my six years of homesteading here and my never-ending urge to make something of this place. But it is said “no matter how carefully a project is planned something may still go wrong with it.”

The above statement is a rephrasing of Robert Burns’ epic poem entitled: “To a mouse…” keeping in mind the poem was addressed to “mouse and man.” I’m neither.

During my long association with gardening, starting in the long ago dark ages of the last century – oh well, the early 1930s, I have met and dealt with so many gardening wins and losses, I can’t begin to list them all.

Some strange ones come to mind occasionally often to be met with disdain and wonderment at the idiocy involved; something a person should not really want to remember clearly, but we are good at reproaching ourselves for shortcomings.

Many of the gardens I had, out on the farm, predicated the large scale tilling involvement of a field-size tractor much of the time.

We referred to them as our “truck patches” although there was never a truck involved. But, come to think of it, a truck should’ve been involved when I think about how big they were and how productive they were for a small family of four (most of the time). I call to mind the year I raised 76 heads of cabbage that created a tumultuous clutter when it came time to clear the patch of leftovers, nearly cracking a plow shear.

We always raised enough tomatoes to put the Heinz canning company to shame. Corn, potatoes, squash, melons, pumpkins, peppers, eggplant, and enough root and leafy vegetables to stock a roadside stand, which we never did other than one or two times, and unsuccessfully.

Those days are over with, but my urge to grow things lingers on, hopefully, not just in my memory. You’re invited to come and see the result … later.

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