Re: late into the garden
- Subject: Re: [cg] late into the garden
- From: Don Lambert <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 03 Jun 2002 10:57:26 -0500
Can you tell us where you are located? In our program in Dallas, we
must have plots utilized year around, or we loose soil quality, have
weed invasions, and other problems that would make the garden
unsustainable. For us, year round use is so closely related to soil
type, rainfall, winter temps., type of perennial weeds, and so on, that
there are people that garden all year, and then there are people without
The kind of gardeners, and their cultural and traditional orientation to
gardening, importance in their everyday life, is most important. With
regular suburban (Americanized) gardeners who want to garden only in the
mild spring season, we simply loose soil structure and have unsolvable
weed problems during the summer and winter. Winter tilling and
preparation for a spring opening each year will not work because heavy
clay and wet years delay starting the garden until early summer.
With Southeast Asian folks, who are eager to garden year around, will
aggressively and efficiently use space so that weeds can not grow in any
season, and will adapt their gardening techniques to garden in all
seasons (if we let them, and maybe provide some technical support such
as cold frame and greenhouse ideas, support) it would be nuts to kick
them out of the garden for a few months each year.
Maybe you could negotiate to have half the garden plots left to the
gardeners to continue working as an experiment, so everyone can see that
your Hmong gardeners really know what they are doing.
Gardeners in Community Development
Harmon Seaver wrote:
> We were only allowed into the community gardens this year last
> weekend, May 25. The excuse was that the ground was too wet to plow
> until then. Normally here peas, potatoes, and cabbage family should be
> planted by May 1st. Obviously the people who are running this, county
> employees, are not gardeners. We don't want them to plow at all in the
> first place. At least 95% of the gardeners are Hmong, most of whom go in
> and till up their plots with hoes anyway, and the rest either have
> rototillers or can rent one.
> Is anyone else having to deal with such ignorance, and what are they
> doing about it? We've tried reasoning with the powers that be, even
> serve on the "guidance committee" to which they pay absolutely no heed.
> Not only do they open the gardens too late, but they want to close them
> right after the first frost, totally ignoring the fact that many crops,
> especially root crops, keep right on growing, and shouldn't be harvested
> until much later. This is the first year, in fact, that we got them to
> stop applying chemical fertilizers, and allowing people to keep the same
> plot from year to year, however, it's very frustrating to build raised
> beds (what works best here in the heavy clay and what most Hmong do
> anyway) and then have them plowed away.
> I'm wanting to start writing letters to the editor, publicizing
> their stupidity, but my wife, who serves on the committee, wants to
> continue to try to reason with them -- but so far that fails to work.
> Has anyone been through this and know the answer?
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