Friday, April 2, 2010
Spring arrived in El Paso and the garden beckoned once again. We spent part of our Spring Break week getting everything into the ground. Albert broke up the plot by himself because of my crazy schedule and workload but we both got our hands dirty planting seeds and slips. I'm not at all sure that we saved any money on groceries last summer but I have to say there is something quite satisfying about stepping out the back door and picking your own tomatoes or spinach. No question that we are pesticide and noxious chemical free
We are letting a gorgeous bok choy flower and go to seed, hoping to salvage its seeds to replant. The parsley came back nicely as did some of the other herbs. Sage didn't make it through the winter nor did the basils. El Paso's harsh summer sun coupled with unpredictable winters sometimes just wipes out plants we thought would make it. Gardening in the Southwest is completely different from what I knew as a farm child. We don't bother with planting runner beans to climb up corn, my job when I was little. Corn is dirt cheap here and just not worth the water or the space. This year Albert had the idea to siphon water from the fish pond for a little extra fertilize emulsion. The pond gets fresh water and the garden stays moist. Daily we watch over our eggplant, lettuce, garlic, tomatoes and peppers. The beans and zucchini are just beginning to peek out of the starter pots. Every season becomes a new experiment.
Best of all, the mockingbird returned. The day after we planted everything, he was high in the tree singing every song he knew with such joyous abandon. It almost seemed that he was thrilled to see our garden and us digging and messing around in the yard. Come to think of it, having the garden probably does supply a few more bugs, grubs, worms and such for his family's snacks so maybe his joy was sincere. I stood in the backyard watching and listening and finally chirping back at him just to have something to contribute to the conversation.
Fannie the Wonder Dog does not understand our fascination with playing in the dirt but she happily keeps us company and enjoys the mockingbird who sings for all of us.