Thursday, January 12, 2012

Girl U Can't Do That Here

Cloudy & gloomy as usual but warm start to December and most of January been in the mid-40's 
That was a comment I heard over the small portion of back fence behind the greenhouse from a guy I only know by our brief exchanges that happen whenever he's on the tail end of the shoe leather express. He has a tag to differentiate between the other people who walk or bike my neighborhood but after today I'm renaming him Giveup. 
Today there's a fence between us. On occasion it's my street as he gives a holla, a comment or question as he stands lighting a cigarette across from my city lot. Seems every time I see or smell someone lite up I wonder how they can afford food & smokes. Then as I find myself inhaling just a bit too deeply I remember how much I loved that first cigarette of the day with coffee. Usually for me it was dawn, on a fire escape the last break before 0600 meds and quitting time. 

Most of the time Giveup, asks me what I'm planting. Other times he tells me he needs a gardener flashing a broad smile bright even @ a distance. 
Once I quipped back that I can't I'm on parole. Say anything with a straight face a calm stare. The myth become fact. 
He gave a hearty laugh. 
Then said, "yeah, it's the ones who don't look like they would ". 
True that I nod.

This day though he was in a more talkative mood counting down the reasons why I can't gardening here like this meaning here as in New York. 
Here as in this city. 
Here as in my city lot.

I heard the words cold, snow, freezing, but I wasn't listening. 
His cigarette smoke just seemed to hang in the air between us as he leaned up against the fence less than 40 feet away. I tasted coffee thick with creamer. 
He spoke a bit more something about see u in the Spring. Then the words Florida, got people, I'll be thinking of you, smile flashing bright. 
Then he trudged up to the city sidewalk from where he had been standing in the vacant lot behind my house. 

I am fully aware I can't do that here.  
He shook his head, apparently I had spoke my mind out loud.

Inside the cold frame I transplanted found celery no doubt from kitchen scraps. It's a commercial brand since I didn't plant any seeds.
Hopefully since it sprouted up in late October/November it will be hardy enough to last through the Winter.  Center is fancy salad greens that I planted a week ago. I don't expect much turn out maybe come March. Far right is old stand by Swiss Chard.

Maybe a second layer of 4 ml plastic?  As if it couldn't look any more trashy.

~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. If I can relocate one of the Eliot Coleman books, will pass on what he plants to get winter salads. He gardens in Maine, without auxiliary heat, using cold frames and row covers, and harvests yaar round.

  2. And then it snows...LOL..but I second the Eliot Coleman book...I can't remember which one it was but it was very interesting..have to figure it out..maybe you can get it at the library

  3. You could add bubble wrap to your plastic sheeting. Commercial greenhouses use bubblewrap to insulate in winter. I have heard that many furniture stores have it for the asking...

  4. Dianeax00,Phil, I have read one of Coleman's books not sure which. I've requested them on my local library's website. Love the interloan program.

    Kelly, hmm bubble wrap huh. Sounds like I need to put out a post on Freecycle.

  5. Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman. You probably already know, but he has several books published. All seem to cover growing and harvesting year round.

    On page 82, chapter 9, freeze tolerant crops; mache/corn-salad, spinach, arugula, scallions, carrots, leeks for zone3/4 in a cold frame. Maybe cress also?

    Bubble wrap: Yep; in my drafty old house, it is being used for things it probably was not originally intended for. Certainly worth a shot.

  6. It's amazing what even a small greenhouse can do. That is still on my to-do list, though I procrastinate because of our milder weather. Hadn't thought of the bubble wrap. That would be an excellent reuse of the stuff.

  7. Eliot Coleman's Four-Season Harvest. I've got the book if you want to borrow it. Without looking it up, I think that for every layer of protection you give your garden, it increases 1 zone but don't quote me.

    1. Thanks, I've got the book ordered through the library.
      Now to go dumpster diving for bubble wrap!

  8. Phil, thanks for the page quote. Coleman's book should be here soon.

    It's about 5 degrees warmer in the greenhouse even when it's in the shadows. If only my neighbor's house would disappear then I'd have an extra 3 hours of sunshine in the Winter.

  9. We planted lettuce on Labor Day in our cold frame, we were still eating it as of 2 weeks ago. Do it! Do it!

  10. I will I will ... we ate Swiss Chard a few days out of the cold frame.


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest